If you’re in the market for a standard, performance or exotic engine, Japan Auto Trading will probably have what you’re looking for.

By Chad Miller

The name Japan Auto has become synonymous with the supply of engines and gearboxes to those looking to keep their cars on the road, and petrol heads looking for the best performance motors for their next big monster build! To find out more about this company, we paid a visit to their headquarters in Jet Park.

With a name like Japan Auto; it’s safe to assume that most of your stock comes from Japan? Japan is the hub for major vehicle manufacturers like Toyota, Nissan and Honda. In Japan, the law states that all vehicles can drive up to 100 000km and thereafter these vehicles are pulled off the roads and sold either complete or parted out to the export market. The reason for this is that Japan is constantly trying to reduce carbon emissions by constantly providing the most efficient way of mobility as well as trying to fight the effects of global warming.

Is it true everyone comes here looking for a high-performance engine?  It’s a combination of both the racing scene and normal clients from all walks of life. Most people come looking for replacement parts to keep their car going whereas the performance game is a hobby based on passion by many, but not a game that many can dwell on as it’s an expensive project once started.

What is the most popular replacement motor? The Toyota range of engines are our popular seller, and this includes the 4A, 4AGE AND 4AFE range of engines.

What has been the most desirable motor? The most desirable engine for us is the mighty Nissan VR38-DETT which comes from the R35 GTR. Definitely one of the most stunning engines on the market.

…and the customers’ favourite? Probably the 2JZ-GTTE. That motor is truly an art of Japanese engineering. It covers both aspects of reliability as it can handle a whole lot of boost. There is also the affordability aspect for all those adrenaline junkies out there. The 2JZ-GTTE is known to take a beating and will still ask “is that all you’ve got?”. The engine was built simply for racing, it is reliable, and affordable. We’ve seen this first-hand in a conversion carried out by one of our staff members on his personal project car! He fitted a 2JZ-GTTE with standard factory pistons and conrods but added a single T72 Ball Bearing turbo with a custom-built turbo manifold and exhaust system. Combine this with bigger injectors, fuel pumps, fuel rails, a throttle body, front mount intercooler, custom intake manifold, a dump valve and a wastegate, and the car produced 508kW on and 986Nm on the wheels!

What do you think is going to be the next big tuning motor that will replace the 2JZ? By the looks of it since the New Supra adopted the engine from the BMW Z3 engine (a disappointment indeed), so the next 2JZ engine is going to be BMW’s B58 engine! Currently my thoughts on which motor is replacing the 2JZ is the Ford Barra motor for the simple reason that it is more affordable, and output is similar when mated to a turbo.

How does it feel when you see a customer who bought an engine from you doing well on the track of having their car featured in Speed and Sound? Truly a magical feeling and probably the best feeling in the world when a customer calls us back and thanks us for selling them a good quality engine. Seeing our engines in feature cars is a blessing and simply keeps us wanting to make our customers smile.

Where would you like to see Japan Auto in 5 years? Being in the motor industry for 20 years, every day is a learning experience for us at Japan Auto. We are constantly finding out about new makes and models or vehicles and try to meet every customers request. Japan auto is always looking for new ways to best serve our customers in an ever-changing world. And I am sure we will continue to be here changing and improving our interactions with our dear clients and their needs.