Here’s Your V12 Mid-Engine Toyota Minivan For Today

We’ve seen modified mid-engine vans for decades. Remember the wheelie-popping Little Red Wagon? But this project takes the mid-engine van concept to a new level. Would you believe this eye-searing Toyota HiAce minivan has a Toyota V12 engine tucked between its rails? 

This V12 minivan project got a little out of hand

Toyota HiAce
Toyota HiAce V12 mid-engine minivan | Facebook

This project didn’t start this way. A South African company owns a fleet of these HiAce vans, called Quantum vans in South Africa, and was looking for a way to promote its taxi and rental services. James Redelinghuys, the owner, loves building wild show cars. He wanted to fuse his interest in building those show cars, with his business. 

Why not make a wild Quantum minivan? His plan started out to be taking the Quantum’s 2.7-liter engine and adding a big turbocharger to it. Then a wild widebody kit and crazy interior and paint job would be the crowning features. Great, so far.

The Lamborghini-inspired widebody meant it had to have a V12

Toyota HiAce
Toyota HiAce V12 mid-engine minivan | Facebook

So began the minivan project, starting in 2017. But then the widebody kit he chose looked Lamborghini Aventador-ish. He needed something more than the stock engine with a big snail to go with that crazy widebody.

So Redelinghuys thought a Toyota 2JZ straight-six engine would be better. These are 24-valve DOHC engines with either 2.5- or 3.0-liters. Cooler than the stock engine, but not very Lamborghini-like. 

What’s a 1GZ-FE V12 engine?

Toyota HiAce
Toyota HiAce V12 mid-engine minivan | Facebook

But then he started having trouble even finding one. In South Africa, they aren’t easy to find. But neither is what he decided to replace it with instead. A cheap 1GZ-FE V12 popped up nearby, and he grabbed it. Not only is it a V12, but it is the only V12 that Toyota ever mass-produced. They were available for a time in the home-market Century luxury sedans. 

In stock form, they were a 5.0-liter engine with 300 hp. That’s OK, but Redelinghuys wanted more power. He decided to add twin-turbos to give it the power and look he was after. Two Billet T3T4 twin-scroll turbos were adapted to the V12. 

A custom intake was made for twelve 350cc Bosch injectors from a Porsche 997 3.8-liter Carrera. Controlling this is a Maxx ECU, and keeping things cool is a water-to-air charge cooler. In this configuration, not one, but two engines ate themselves on the dyno. 

They blew up two V12 engines, but the third one was the charm

Toyota HiAce
Toyota HiAce V12 mid-engine minivan | Facebook

The third build proved to be a winner, dynoing 600 hp and 523 lb-ft of torque. Hooked to it is a TCI Streetfighter three-speed automatic sending the power to a Mustang GT limited-slip differential. Supporting this insanity is a custom leaf suspension front and rear sprung by coil-overs. This rides on Audi R8 spoke wheels.

Inside, the crazy continues. A mix of leather and Alcantara were used throughout the completely custom interior. A Racepro Dashtech dash replaces the stock unit. Finishing it off is Lamborghini Diablo red paint and Xirallic pearlescent paint. 

Now, if you think this is the coolest vehicle you’ve ever seen and you need to have it, you’re in luck. It’s for sale on Facebook Marketplace Japan. The asking price is R1,295,000, which comes out to $85,362. And if you do pick it up, let your pals at MotorBiscuit know you stepped up.

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