“I challenge anyone to break a golden era ‘Yota,” exclaimed my colleague Chris Rosales after I shared this glorious little video in the Car Bibles writers’ room Slack channel. ’90s and early ’00s Toyota/Lexus engines are pretty darn indestructible, as acclaimed and hilarious YouTube channel Neutral Drop recently demonstrated with quite possibly the best example: a Z30 Lexus SC300.
Beneath the 300’s hood lives a naturally-aspirated 2JZ-GE, one of the most beloved inline-sixes of all time. When new, it made 225 horsepower and 220 pound-feet of torque. By the looks of the video, this shining example that the Neutral Drop crew got their pizza-folding hands on is a five-speed automatic model, which weighed in around 3,500 pounds. Yeah, not the quickest grand tourer Lexus ever made. Though, quite pertinent is its drivetrain: rear-wheel drive. And also sturdiness -these lumps are known for their longevity, and propensity to deal with a lot of boost.
The SC300 and its V8-powered sibling the SC400 were well-received back in the day. The 300 coupe was faster to 60 mph from a standstill than its competition by Acura, the Legend coupe. At least, according to this quoted-from-Motor-Trend forum post. Reviewers also found that it handled better than the Legend, and, well, it was just an overall better car.
But none of that matters here, anyway. The only concern Neutral Drop maybe had before they sent it in a well-lit industrial area, was whether the SC still had enough power left to rip a glorious, never-ever-lift burn out.
Hilariously, the SC does brilliantly. The only thing that appears to break is a coolant connection. Otherwise, the drivetrain develops a noise after getting a good thrashing, and a rear tire pops, which turns turns the SC into a good ol’ fashion vehicular sparkler. Who needs to light off fireworks on the Fourth of July?
The tired ol’ Lexus of course also puts on a hell of a smoke show, and reminds us that, thankfully, the New York Police Department always has better things to do. So do passers-by; I’m sure the truck driver who rolled past during the video, seeing these two miscreants ripping an SC within an inch of its life, just chuckled and carry on. At least that’s what I’d do.