Posted by Aaron Bunch on Nov 16 2017



With the publicity of Matt Farah recently driving Kenn Kite's ATS built 450whp MR2 we decided to put the recipe up there for people who want this build. The availability of E85 has made 450whp the sweet spot of bang for the buck MR2 performance. For example 450whp can happily run our $300 1200cc injectors instead of $900+ ID2000's.  450whp is also the limit of the side mount intercooler, and stock intake manifold. 450whp is also the limit for a single disk clutch, so you get a $500 Stage 4 instead of a $1400 twin disk. And finally 450whp is the practical limit for the 3S block, beyond this number we suggest upgrading to the 5S block. 


This E85 build will make about 330-350whp on pump gas. If you are trying to make 450whp on pump gas, well bad's going to cost a lot more because you need to do considerable flow modifications due to the limits of 93 octane.


The block. We highly recommend going to a 2.2 stroker motor. There is no power benefit, but there is a spool benefit and it makes the car a better daily driver. The cost difference between a stroker and a forged 2.0 is pretty minimal. So buy this and upgrade to the Eagle rods and ACL Race bearings for a little extra insurance: $3250 with Eagles and ACL Race bearings


By the way I am assuming we are doing the installation here, so no need for a core deposit.


Next thing is the Cylinder head. Buy this:


and these:


Get the Gen2 S1 cams. I don't care if you have a Gen3, Gen4, Gen5, The GEN2 S1 cams are the ones you want. They spool faster and make the same peak power at this level.


Get ATS cam gears too:


The price of cams is changing soon because GSC is going to billet blanks, but this head with cams and cam gears should be $1700 total.


Get the ATS head gasket repair kit for $325 here:

That will get you a set of ARP head studs, ATS metal head gasket and a low temp thermostat.


You will also want: Oil leak kit $34 Timing belt kit with seals $91 Tune up kit $169 HV Oil pump with gasket $188

5SFE flywheel bolt set $43

Machine stock flywheel for stroker, plus resurface flywheel $200

I don't have a water pump on the website yet, but they are $125 for genuine Toyota. I have found the aftermarket ones come as only the front half and they tend to leak.


Running total so far $6125


On to the turbo kit: ATS Racing Garrett GT3071R. This thing spools very close to stock and will make just over 500whp if pushed. $2450


The turbo kit comes with all the gaskets you need IF you can reuse your manifold gaskets. Just in case they aren't reusable here are the two: manifold/adapter gasket $39 gen2 exhaust manifold gasket $39


The ATS Top Mount Intercooler kit also includes a 3” intake that deletes the factory AFM. This intercooler is the best air/air solution available without cutting your trunk or going to a heavier and more expensive water to air intercooler package.


Get the optional Tial BOV, because it sounds cool. $1350



Running total: $10,003


The ECU and fuel system is easy because I built a combo kit that has everything you need: $2345


Drivetrain: I hope your stock E153 transmission is in good shape, because rebuilding them has become nearly impossible or expensive or both. Grab an ATS Racing Stage 4 clutch and a set of our CV joints: Stage 4 clutch $499 ATS inner CV joints $399 Transmission refill kit $74


Running parts total: $13,320


We need to add about $150 for fluids like VR1 race oil, oil filter, coolant, clutch fluid.


If we do everything at once the total labor for engine removal, disassembly, cleaning, reassembly, is typically $4100, tuning for flex fuel is $1200. So assuming you don't have a car loaded with gremlins and previous problems your total price is:


Grand total $18,770


450whp is approximately 570 flywheel horsepower. Flip through the latest Car and Driver and find the list of 570hp new cars. It's pretty short. Now look and see how many of them are under 3000 pounds. 570 horsepower/3000 pounds puts the MR2 in an incredible power to weight class. At this power level the car is capable of 10 second quarter mile times on drag radials, but still has the drivability and reliability of the stock car. The one pictured above was build by ATS in 2009 and is still going strong today..