We've had our fair share of interesting Toyota Hiace vans on the site. From motorhomes to V8-powered ambulances, there is no end to its versatility. But there is a Hiace in South Africa that might be the most extreme build yet.
For James Redelinghuis, a heavily-boosted straight-six or a V8 wasn't enough for his project van. For his Hiace (Known as the Quantum in South Africa), he shoved in the largest Toyota production engine behind the seats. He chose the 1GZ-FE, also known as the V12 used in the second-generation Toyota Century. But the madness didn't stop there for James' Hiace.
The Toyota V12 puts out 276 bhp (206 kilowatts) and 355 pound-feet (481 Newton-metres) of torque right out the box. But beefed-up internals and a pair of turbos crank it up to healthy 600 bhp (442 kilowatts) and 524 pound-feet (710 Newton-metres) of torque. Not only that, all that grunt powers the rear wheels through a sequential three-speed transmission.
Bespoke fabrication was needed to fit the massive 5.0-litre V12 in the Hiace. The 12-cylinder couldn't fit under the seats, so the floor was cut to put it in. Extra reinforcements, unique subframes, and other braces hold the arrangement in place. There are also parts from other cars bolted onto the van. For instance, the rear differential is from a Mustang, the wheels are from an Audi R8, and the fuel injectors were from a 997-era Porsche 911 Carrera S.
Redelinghuis goes more in-depth in the video. His project took about five years to complete and featured in several publications in South Africa. However, the creator of this wild van says it's time to move on to the next build. The “Taxi” is currently for sale in Facebook Marketplace for 1,295,000 Rand or £64,600 at current exchange rates.