1997 Toyota Aristo Twin Turbo
Toyota made waves in the automotive world when they released the JZS161 Aristo to the public. Featuring futuristic, curvaceous body lines and a full slate of amenities on par with European luxury offerings, the technologically advanced Aristo won over the hearts of diehard enthusiasts by maintaining the same twin turbo I6 power that pushed Toyota ahead of its 1990's competition. Wearing a sleek one-off Pearl White, this one is quite the looker, with its flush fitment and staggered 19" BBS RGR alloys stealing the show. Complemented by a set of LED tail lights, a badgeless grille and halo headlights this one has head turning equipment and the power to back it up! Save for some expected stone chips, debris, and minor paint fade, the exterior has held up quite well since this one rolled off the production line in 1997, and with only 66k verified/documented miles on the clock this one was clearly taken care of in a prior life. For a touring sedan, this Aristo is primed and ready for daily duty with the power and handling to tackle performance driving with ease. Comfortable, stylish, and extraordinarily capable, this S161 Aristo is a Japanese Classic for the ages.
The interior is clean, stylish, and the timeless design still stacks up quite well against similar luxury vehicle interiors of today. Leather seat covers mask the factory cloth upholstery and give the interior a more premium feel. Save for some light fading on the front covers the material shows nicely overall and is still soft to the touch. For safety conscious passengers, Toyota beefed up the second generation Aristo with both front and side SRS airbags for some additional peace of mind. Both driver and passenger benefit from power adjustable front seats, with the driver receiving a more tailored experience, care of a power tilt and telescoping steering column, and some additional lumbar support. The center stack is trimmed in a grey tortoise finish and houses a fully functional dual-zone climate control unit. Ripe with hot heat and cold A/C if needed, both driver and passenger can adjust the cabin temp to their liking. Nestled below the HVAC is a bit more modern touch screen Mitsubishi headunit. Unfortunately most of the features have given up the ghost, but a new US spec radio is an easy enough upgrade. As expected from Toyota's flagship midsize sedan, a slew of power amenities are on deck to make the driving experience a bit more comfortable for anyone lucky enough to ride passenger in this classy transporter. Power windows, door locks, and power folding mirrors all work at the push of a button, and a power moonroof can even be unfurled to allow a bit of natural ventilation to flow freely throughout the cabin. The rear bench is plenty spacious and has ample room for three additional units of precious cargo. The trunk is decently sized as well, and save for some wear on the steering wheel, there's not much to turn your nose up at when it comes to the interior condition.
The 2JZ-GTE VVTi may sound like a mouthful on paper, but we can assure you this performance-based mill is the reliable, performance based engine this chassis deserves. Sharing the same parts, serviceability, and ease of modification as the storied A80 Supra, this engine has the power and potential to push out some serious ponies! This one cranks over swiftly, care of a new 12v battery, and the idle is as smooth as you'd expect from a luxury Toyota. A new air filter keeps her breathing healthily, feeding fresh air to the responsive twin turbochargers in a jiffy, and a new serpentine belt keeps your accessories in good operation. With a fresh oil and filter service, keeping this one topped up on lubrication, she drives like a dream. Deceptively quick in stock form, this Aristo rockets to highway speeds at the snap of a finger and can cruise with ease. An aftermarket catback exhaust sounds great under load without being too overbearing. The automatic transmission is equally as smooth in operation, and a selectable manual mode is even at hand, delivering plenty of responsive shifts up and down the gears. To shore up the drivetrain, a replacement of the rear inner and outer tie rods was in order, and she now handles reliably throughout any twists and turns with the help of Advanced Suspension coilovers all the way around. Polishing off the maintenance work is a fresh set of pads and rotors on the front, crucial for stopping this luxury sled on a dime. The power steering is light, and dead silent as you'd expect from a flagship sedan. Power is hammered to the rear wheels swiftly, and new Ohtsu rubber on all four corners should prevent any unwanted slips or slides for tens of thousands of miles to come!
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB compliant first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.