First Gen Toyota Rav4 With 3SGTE Swap Trolling Florida Drag Races

Photo Credit: YouTube User Jonathan Fonda
Photo Credit: YouTube User Jonathan Fonda /

Recent footage emerged of this first gen Toyota Rav4 with a 3SGTE swap trolling the streets of Florida. 

You wouldn’t think that a lowly mid-90’s Toyota Rav4 could do much damage lining up against some of the best of Florida’s drag racers but someone in Orland, Florida is out to change that notion. According to IAmTaiBoogie off of Instagram earlier Friday evening, footage was submitted of this first gen Rav4 lining up against a Lexus IS300 with the little SUV smoking the luxury sedan from a dig. Check out the mind-blowing drag race for yourself below and let us know what you think about this awesome Toyota Rav4 in the comments below.

Although IAmTaiBoogie was short on details, that didn’t stop some of his followers from confirming that this Rav4 has a 3SGTE Swap from a late 90’s Toyota Caldina underneath the hood. Part of the Toyota S family of engines going back to 1980, the 3SGTE has five generations underneath its belt. The second generation 3SGTE was infamously swapped in the ST185 Toyota Celica GT-Four while later generations were sold in JDM spec Toyota Caldina’s.

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With better electronics interfaces with early model Rav4’s, the Caldina 3SGTE’s are popular swaps with other Toyota chassis’s. A couple of Toyota enthusiasts enjoy the challenge of stuffing them into Toyota Rav4s too.  First Gen Rav4s came with the naturally aspirated cousin to the 3SGTE, the 3SFE. The N/A 3SFE makes just 120 HP and 125 lb-ft while the turbocharged 3S-GTE makes a staggering 256 HP and 239 lb-ft.

With simple modifications and the right tune, more than 300 HP and 300 lb-ft from the 3SGTE is more than reasonable, hence the popularity of these swaps.

Pair all that power to a lightweight chassis and a good driver and you have the recipe for a real sleeper. We also happened to find a video from a couple months ago from the Florida area that shows a Rav4 with Caldina swap doing its thing in albeit filmed with a better camera. We have a feeling that the one IAmTaiBoogie posted and this one is the one and the same.

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The Lexus IS300 is no joke either with a naturally aspirated 2JZ underneath the hood with turbocharged 2JZ’s as a popular swap. But it looks like this particular IS300 didn’t know what he was running against to the delight of the rest of social media.