Rotary powered Toyota Corolla coming to Drag Challenge Weekend 2019

Scott Hoffman is bringing over 500hp of dorito goodness to Drag Challenge Weekend

Photographers: Steve Kelly

WHAT happens when your 1500hp, 2JZ-powered KE20 Corolla becomes too much of a handful to use in a sensible manner? Well, in the case of Scott Hoffman, he decided another KE20 with a 13B rotary was the solution.

Scott’s only owned this KE20 for around a year and a half, but his relationship with it goes back a lot longer. “I originally built the car for a customer around 10-15 years ago,” he explains. “I pulled all the rotary running gear out of my other KE20 to put into this white car, so I could put the 2JZ in my other car.”

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The old owner then enjoyed the car for a while, taking it out to Powercruise events and the like, until he couldn’t find time to use it anymore. “He called me all these years later and asked if I wanted to buy it,” Scott says. “It was like a time capsule; it’d barely changed since I’d built it all those years ago, and the offer was good so I took it home.”

Under the bonnet is a bridgeported 13B, with a beastly GT42 hairdryer strapped to the side. An Autronic SM4 ECU controls the Dorito madness, and Scott recently ran the thing up on his dyno to give the tune a freshen-up. While he wouldn’t give away the exact power figure, he increased the boost from 23psi to 29psi, and says that’s good for 500-600rwhp on E85. The car’s PB is 9.50@146mph, so Scott’s keen to see what it can do with the new tweaks. “It should hopefully crack into the low nines with the boost increase,” he says.

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Backing up the rotary goodness is a Jatco three-speed ’box with a transbrake, housing a 6000rpm TCE converter to help Scott send all those horses to the ground. The rear end is pillaged from an R31 Pintara, shortened to suit the Corolla’s small hips and running 3.89:1 gears.

Believe it or not, one of Scott’s favourite things about the car is the usability. “I tuned it so I know I can wring its neck without any problems, and with the bi-modal exhaust it can cruise around pretty inconspicuously off boost,” he says. “I get it out a couple of times a month.”

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Scott’s entered in the new Tuff Mounts 235 Radial Blown class at this year’s Drag Challenge Weekend, which takes place in Queensland, 4-6 May. Three tracks in three days with road stints totalling more than 650km may seem like a tall order for a typical rotary, but Scott’s already proven his mettle in this field, winning the 255/265 Street Radial Blown class in The Road Trip drag event last November. “I had a great time,” Scott says. “The car ran some good numbers, the cruising on the road between tracks was awesome and coming home with the class win was cool as well – and the car even got decent fuel mileage!” While it may not be the seven-second, 1500hp monster his 2JZ-powered KE20 is, this little machine is more than capable of putting a smile on anyone’s face, and we can’t wait to see it in action at the far more gruelling Drag Challenge Weekend.




Brand: Mazda 13B

ECU: Autronic SM4

Turbo: GT42

Exhaust: 3.5in, bi-modal


Gearbox: Jatco three-speed

Converter: TCE, 6000rpm

Diff: R31 Pintara, 3.89:1 gears


Front: Standard

Rear: Standard

Brakes: KE55 discs (f), R31 discs (r)


Rims: 14×6 (f), 15×7 (r)

Rubber: 155/50R14 (f), 225/50R15 (r)