Ultimate Forza Horizon 4 Engine Swaps Guide

author avatarJoe Terrell
09/11/202011th September, 2020
Filed under Gaming Guides

There’s an insane variety on offer when it comes to engine swaps available in Forza Horizon 4, so we’re putting them head-to-head in this guide to help you choose the ultimate engine.

forza horizon 4 engine swaps


Introduction

Since its launch in 2018, Forza Horizon 4 has become the most celebrated racing game of all time, going on to surpass more than 12 million players who have taken the opportunity to enjoy the games incredible, open-world exploration opportunities in 2019.

They’re impressive sales figures for a game that is only available for Xbox One and PC users.

When competing against more than 12 million other gamers, your ride needs to stand out from the crowd, and this is where engine swaps offer the perfect solution.

With Turn 10/Playground Games continuously providing updates, there’s an insane choice of cars available to cater to every possible need.

In fact, at the time of writing, there’s an incredible selection of more than 690 in-game vehicles for you to tear up around the British countryside.

If they’ve not already made it challenging enough to pick from that gigantic list as to what suits you best, you’re then able to carry out hundreds of potential modifications to tweak the car precisely to your preferences.

From simple mods, such as specific color changes, this goes right the way through to one of the most extensive modifications – engine swaps.

In our opinion, some cars, such as the Toyota Supra MKIV, certainly don’t need an engine swap, given that it sports the legendary 2JZ engine under the hood in stock form, there are still four potential alternatives to tickle your fancy. (Or not!)

For example, although an LS V8 swap would be most JDM enthusiasts’ worst nightmare, Forza has provided the opportunity to do so, should you feel the need to cause some controversy!

One of the most appreciated aspects of the ability to engine swap in Forza Horizon 4 is that it can often transform cars that aren’t quite so capable in stock form to unleash their true potential.

Although an engine swap is capable of drastically improving your car’s performance, you’ll need to remember that it’s also likely to have a significant impact on your handling and weight distribution.

Some engines may sometimes mate perfectly with particular chassis, while others could potentially be a disaster. It’s all about trial and error to find the perfect setup for your needs.

It’s worth bearing in mind that if you’ve carried out extensive upgrades to your stock engine, then these won’t be carried over when you fit your entirely new engine swap, since those parts will no longer be compatible with the new powerplant.

Engine swaps are immensely popular within the real-world tuning scene, and we’ve explored swapping the RX8 and 350Z engines to transform them into potential drift weapons.

Once you’ve decided on the swap that suits you best, you’re able to use it to full potential, whether you enjoy drifting, drag, or high-speed racing to thrash the engine within every inch of its life without the fear of getting points on your license.

If your drifting skills aren’t quite up to scratch yet, then make sure you check out this guide to drifting in the Forza Horizon series.

Alternatively, if you’re planning to go for a more intense simulator experience, Forza Motorsport 7 is another incredible alternative for Xbox/PC users, and we’ve compiled a guide of our top 10 drift cars in the game.

We recently took an in-depth look at the Forza Horizon 5 release date, since historical trends of a new release every two years would usually mean a new game is imminent in 2020, that doesn’t appear to be the case this year, unfortunately.

However, with many Horizon enthusiasts convinced that Microsoft had reached the limits of its potential within the Xbox One console, the Xbox Series X appears to provide the perfect platform to take the fifth revision of the game to the next level.

We’re crossing our fingers that the game will be set in Japan so that we can shred some tires on the touge – Initial D style!

Since we, unfortunately, doubt that we’ll get to see Forza Horizon 5 this year, given that Forza Motorsport 8 is likely to see an earlier launch, we’ve decided to take a deep dive into the Forza Horizon 4 game in the meantime.

Many Forza Horizon 4 enthusiasts will undoubtedly be hoping that Turn 10/Playground Games work hard on their engine sounds, as they’re often one of the few reasons for complaint in the game.

So, if you’re an engine sound expert, now may be the time to brace yourself.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the very best engine swaps that are available for you to enjoy in Forza Horizon 4!


awd hoonigan drift car

How to Engine Swap in Forza Horizon 4

If you’re worried there’s an issue with your game because there’s no ‘Engine Swap’ option available within the ‘Upgrade Shop’ menu, there’s a chance that there’s no swap available for that car, or at least perhaps not the one you’re hoping to find.

However, if it’s available, you need to head to the ‘Upgrade Shop’ before going into the ‘Conversion’ menu, followed by ‘Engine Swap.’

Remember that your new engine swap will arrive in entirely stock form, regardless of your previous engine upgrades.

So, if you’re short of funds, then you may want to save up a little cash so that you can build it up right away.

Unfortunately, you’re not able to swap any engine into any car, as much as we’d love that to be the case. Turn 10 have opted to keep things realistic in this regard, with most of the swaps available likely to fit the cars they’d likely fit into in a real-world scenario.

There are occasionally some rather amusing exceptions to the rule (Racing V12 in an Austin FX4 Taxi – we’re looking at you), so hopefully, you’ll find the swap you’ve been dreaming of carrying out.


Best Engine Swaps in Forza Horizon 4

With over 70 potential engine swaps available in the game, it can sometimes be a real challenge to figure out what’s going to suit your needs best.

Naturally, it’s easy to want to fit the engine with the most impressive power potential, but when it comes to drifting, this isn’t always the best choice since it can have a detrimental effect on the weight distribution and handling.

So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of our favorite choices.

2.0L I4 – VVT (Honda K20)

  • Cost: 12,000 CR
  • Stock aspiration: N/A
  • Stock power: 212 hp / 149 ft/lb torque
  • Maximum potential power: 719 hp / 469 ft/lb torque
  • OEM engine: Honda Civic Type-R (2004)

Our favorite compatible cars for the 2.0L I4 – VVT engine swap:

  • 1973 BMW 2002 Turbo
  • 1970 Datsun 510
  • 1966 Ford Lotus Cortina
  • 1994 Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • 1990 Mazda Savanna RX-7
  • 1993 Nissan 240SX SE

Even though Honda engines aren’t typically a drifter’s usual cup of tea, we’ve shown appreciation for some of their most exceptional creations, such as the K24, B16, and finally, the hugely-popular K20 in our recent guides.

The K20 is often the most highly-regarded engine in Honda’s line-up when it comes to real-world drift car swaps, and we’ve witnessed crazy naturally aspirated and forced induction cars, many of which we’ve featured in our engine guide.

If you’re building a lightweight chassis, the K20 can prove to be a fantastic choice if you’re looking to keep the weight down and the revs up.

With its stock power of just 212 hp, but the potential capability of achieving 719 hp thanks to the single turbo, and centrifugal supercharger upgrades, this leaves a lot of customization possibilities for finding the perfect setup for your drift car.

Although there are higher-powered engines available for most cars, the 2.0L I4 – VVT (Honda K20) is likely to be the perfect addition to your lightweight build.

2.0L I4 – Turbo (Nissan SR20DET Blacktop)

  • Cost: 17,500 CR
  • Stock aspiration: Single Turbo
  • Stock power: 250 hp / 203 ft/lb torque
  • Maximum potential power: 609 hp / 428 ft/lb torque
  • OEM engine: Nissan Silvia Spec-R (2000)

Compatible cars for the 2.0L I4 – Turbo engine swap:

  • 1993 Nissan 240SX SE
  • 1991 Nissan Pulsar GTI-R

It’s a shame that Turn 10 didn’t allow the legendary SR20DET to feature in more cars than the two above, but it can be a fantastic upgrade to the less-desirable KA24DE, typically found in the 240SX.

There’s no question that the SR20DET is one of the most popular drift engines of all time, and our SR20 tuning guide will help you understand how to reach its potential.

The 250hp blacktop variant was only ever provided by Nissan in the JDM Nissan S15 and is capable of producing 609 hp, with 428 ft/lb torque in the game.

Although they’re not the highest in-game horsepower figures, it’ll make your s-chassis more than a handful for navigating the tight and twisty British roads, while providing the perfect weight balance for your 240SX since the (red top) SR20DET featured in the JDM-equivalent S13 from the factory.

2.6L 4 Rotor – Racing (Mazda R26B)

  • Cost: 60,000 CR
  • Stock aspiration: N/A
  • Stock power: 690 hp / 448 ft/lb torque
  • Maximum potential power: 794 hp / 515 ft/lb torque
  • OEM engine: Mazda 787B

Our favorite compatible cars for the 2.6L 4 Rotor – Racing engine swap:

  • 2013 Cadillac XTS Limousine
  • 1992 Hoonigan Mazda RX-7 Twerkstallion
  • 2000 Mazda Mazdaspeed MX-5
  • 2013 Mazda MX-5
  • 2016 Mazda MX-5
  • 1994 Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • 1997 Mazda RX-7
  • 1985 Mazda RX-7 GSL-SE
  • 2002 Mazda RX-7 Spirit R Type-A
  • 2011 Mazda RX-8 R3
  • 1990 Mazda Savanna RX-7
  • 1993 Nissan 240SX SE
  • 1994 Nissan Silvia K’s
  • 1998 Nissan Silvia K’s Aero
  • 2000 Nissan Silvia Spec-R

Often regarded as the most beautiful-sounding engine of all time, the 2.6L rotary engine from the 787B claimed to sound like “seven thousand cats being stung by seven thousand wasps” by journalists upon release.

Although the RX7 FD’s 13B-REW is available as a swap in the game, the selection is limited to just two Caterham models. Boring.

Thankfully, they made the 2.6L 4 Rotor – Racing available to a much wider choice, providing the ultimate eargasm to those who opt for it as their weapon of choice.

Thankfully, this engine is capable of being fitted to some chassis’ that you wouldn’t typically expect. We highly recommend throwing it into the Cadillac XTS Limousine for the ultimate unique drift experience!

2.6L I6 – TT (Nissan RB26DETT)

  • Cost: 23,000 CR
  • Stock aspiration: Twin-turbo
  • Stock power: 327 hp / 293 ft/lb torque
  • Maximum potential power: 796 hp / 602 ft/lb torque
  • OEM engine: Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec II

Our favorite compatible cars for the 2.6L I6 – TT engine swap:

  • 1997 BMW M3
  • 1988 BMW M5 Forza Edition
  • 1970 Datsun 510
  • 1968 Ford Mustang 2+2 Fastback
  • 1993 Nissan 240SX SE
  • 2010 Nissan 370Z
  • 2003 Nissan Fairlady Z
  • 1994 Nissan Fairlady Z Version S Twin Turbo
  • 1992 Nissan Silvia Club K’s
  • 1998 Nissan Silvia K’s Aero
  • 2000 Nissan Silvia Spec-R
  • 1971 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R
  • 1987 Nissan Skyline GTS-R (R31)
  • 1973 Nissan Skyline H/T 2000GT-R
  • 2013 Subaru BRZ
  • 1998 Subaru Impreza 22B STi
  • 1974 Toyota Celica GT
  • 1985 Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT Apex
  • 1992 Toyota Supra 2.0 GT Twin Turbo
  • 1963 Volvo 850 R

How could we possibly leave out Brian O’Conner’s powerplant of choice, the notorious RB26DETT?

Not only was the R34 GT-R engine Brian O’Conner’s Fast & Furious cars, but it was also Paul Walker’s personal favorite, with him being the proud owner of several GT-R’s.

Although the GT-R is currently illegal in the US, it’s thankfully a common engine swap in Forza Horizon 4, with the capability to be fitted to a wide selection of vehicles.

Although it’s a familiar rival to Toyota’s 2JZ engine, the RB26DETT is available in a massive range of cars. Our old-school personal favorites for the 2.6L I6 – TT swap is the Datsun 510 and the Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R (Hakosuka).

4.0L V8 (BMW S65)

  • Cost: 24,000 CR
  • Stock aspiration: N/A
  • Stock power: 414 hp / 295 ft/lb torque
  • Maximum potential power: 867 hp / 561 ft/lb torque
  • OEM engine: BMW M3 (2008)

Our favorite compatible cars for the 4.0L V8 engine swap:

  • 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe
  • 1973 BMW 2002 Turbo
  • 1981 BMW M1
  • 2016 BMW M2 Coupe
  • 1991 BMW M3
  • 1997 BMW M3
  • 2005 BMW M3
  • 2014 BMW M4 Coupe
  • 1988 BMW M5
  • 1995 BMW M5
  • 2003 BMW M5
  • 1988 BMW M5 Forza Edition
  • 2002 BMW Z3 M Coupe
  • 2008 BMW Z4 M Coupe
  • 2018 BMW Z4 Roadster

Initially found in the E92 M3, this has been a common choice in the game thanks to its capable tuning potential.

We’ve enjoyed throwing it down in the twisties in the old-school-cool 1973 BMW 2002 Turbo.

Keen to know the differences between the BMW M3 and M4? We’ve put them head-to-head in this guide.

6.2L V8 (Chevrolet LS3)

  • Cost: 20,000 CR
  • Stock aspiration: N/A
  • Stock power: 415 hp / 415 ft/lb torque
  • Maximum potential power: 1,016 hp / 851 ft/lb torque
  • OEM engine: Chevrolet Super Sport

Our favorite compatible cars for the 6.2L V8 engine swap:

  • 1995 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1
  • 1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth
  • 1977 Ford Escort RS1800
  • 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302
  • 1987 Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500
  • 1992 Honda NSX-R
  • 2003 Honda S2000
  • 1978 Hoonigan Ford Escort RS1800
  • 1994 Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • 2002 Mazda RX-7 Spirit R Type-A
  • 2010 Nissan 370Z
  • 1993 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec
  • 2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec II
  • 2013 Subaru BRZ

Don’t let the stock power figures fool you! The LS3 is an absolute weapon when it comes to drifting, and it’s proven itself time and time again over the years.

With a twin-turbo strapped to it, along with the other supporting mods, this is capable of achieving over 1,000 hp and is one of the most popular engine swaps in both the game and real-life.

Although it may be controversial to JDM lovers, if you’re after a mean-sounding engine with all the power in the world available on tap, then look no further.

If you can resist the temptation to go full-retard with the power, this can make a nice, easy-to-handle drift setup.

6.5L V12 (Lamborgini L539)

  • Cost: 50,000 CR
  • Stock aspiration: N/A
  • Stock power: 700 hp / 509 ft/lb torque
  • Maximum potential power: 1,515 hp / 1,102 ft/lb torque
  • OEM engine: Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4

Our favorite compatible cars for the 6.5L V12 engine swap:

  • 2013 BMW M6 Coupe Forza Edition
  • 2013 Cadillac XTS Limousine
  • 1970 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1
  • 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T
  • 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR
  • 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302
  • 2005 Hot Wheels Mustang
  • 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge

The 6.5L V12 has earned itself a reputation as somewhat of a ‘cheat’ engine in the game, with many players online frustrated with its colossal power capabilities.

Once you’ve carried out all of the upgrades, this is capable of a ridiculous 1,515 hp and 1,102 ft/lb torque.

Although it’s not the most practical engine available for drifting around the tight twisty bends of the British Isles, it’ll certainly put your skills to the test.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to conquer a new top-speed quest, this is likely to be the perfect candidate.

3.8L V6 – TT (VR38DETT)

  • Cost: 52,500 CR
  • Stock aspiration: Twin-turbo
  • Stock power: 542 hp / 466 ft/lb torque
  • Maximum potential power: 1,017 hp / 830 ft/lb torque
  • OEM engine: Nissan GT-R Black Edition

Our favorite compatible cars for the 3.8L V6 – TT engine swap:

  • 2018 Kia Stinger
  • 2003 Nissan Fairlady Z
  • 2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec II
  • 1998 Nissan R390
  • 1993 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec
  • 1993 Nissan 240SX SE

For some reason, the VR38DETT is included with the Kia Stinger for Forza Horizon 4, with alternatives like the S15 neglected.

Although it’s a strange choice, it makes for a pretty epic swap for the Stinger!

Whether you’re looking to drift, drag, or achieve top speed goals, the 3.8L V6 – TT is one of the best all-rounders in both the game and the real world.

It’s also lightweight for its size, which doesn’t upset the weight distribution in the likes of the Fairlady Z (350Z) and 240SX.

8.4L V10 (Dodge VX-I)

  • Cost: 25,000 CR
  • Stock aspiration: N/A
  • Stock power: 640 hp / 600 ft/lb torque
  • Maximum potential power: 1,212 hp / 831 ft/lb torque
  • OEM engine: Dodge SRT Viper GTS

Our favorite compatible cars for the 8.4L V10 engine swap:

  • 2013 Cadillac XTS Limousine
  • 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 427
  • 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
  • 2015 Ford Falcon GT F 351
  • 1965 Ford Mustang GT Coupe
  • 1965 Ford Transit
  • 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge
  • 1965 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe
  • 2005 Vauxhall Monaro VXR

The 8.4L V10 is one of the most popular engine swaps in the game and was the OEM engine for the Dodge SRT Viper GTS.

This engine can be swapped into more than 90 cars and is capable of pushing out 1,212 hp, with many Horizon enthusiasts much preferring the sounds and power delivery over the Lamborghini V12.

8.2L V10 FD (Formula Drift-Tuned Engine)

  • Cost: 150,000 CR
  • Stock aspiration: Twin-turbo
  • Stock power: 1,350 hp / 1,400 ft/lb torque
  • Maximum potential power: 1,350 hp / 1,400 ft/lb torque
  • OEM engine: Formula Drift #43 Dodge Viper SRT10

Compatible cars for the 8.2L V10 FD engine swap:

  • 2018 Ford #25 Mustang RTR
  • 2018 Ford #88 Mustang RTR

There’s a real lack of variety when it comes to car selection for this engine, unfortunately, but we couldn’t resist including this awesome pre-built drift tune on our list.

Powering Dean Kearney’s crazy V10 Viper in the Formula Drift series, this is capable of being interchanged into Chelsea DeNofa and Vaughn Gittin Jr’s FD Mustangs.

The Viper is known for being snappy and challenging to handle in the twisty back roads. In some ways, we’ve found that it’s better suited for the Mustangs to put the 1,350 hp of power down.

This engine is great fun in any of the cars, and one that we always keep in our garage.

Racing 7.2L V8

  • Cost: 250,000 CR
  • Stock aspiration: N/A
  • Stock power: 850 hp / 640 ft/lb torque
  • Maximum potential power: 1,356 hp / 1,021 ft/lb torque
  • OEM engine: RJ Anderson #37 Polaris RZR-Rockstar Energy Pro 2 Truck

Our favorite compatible cars for the Racing 7.2L V8 engine swap:

  • 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
  • 1968 Ford Mustang 2+2 Fastback
  • 2005 Honda NSX-R GT
  • 1986 Hoonigan Ford RS200 Evolution
  • 2011 Hot Wheels Bone Shaker
  • 2018 Mercedes-Benz X-Class
  • 1984 Rover SD1 Vitesse
  • 1985 Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT Apex
  • 1998 Toyota Supra RZ

Although this engine originally features in the RJ Anderson trophy truck, it’s certainly not the best platform when it comes to drifting.

Thankfully, Turn 10 has included it in an expansive range of vehicles for you to enjoy.

With 1,356 hp on tap, it indeed becomes a handful, but it can be a tremendous amount of fun if you can learn to either tame the power or turn it down a tad.

Once we got used to it, this made for heaps of fun in the Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT Apex (AE86 Hachiroku.)

7.2L V8

  • Cost: 50,000 CR
  • Stock aspiration: N/A
  • Stock power: 1,000 hp / 737 ft/lb torque
  • Maximum potential power: 1,876 hp / 1,383 ft/lb torque
  • OEM engine: Ford Mustang RTR

Compatible cars for the 7.2L V8 engine swap:

  • 2018 Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5

The 7.2L V8 is the original engine from Vaughn Gittin JR’s Formula Drift RTR (Ready to Run) Mustang.

Unfortunately, this is only capable of being swapped into the Spec 5 streetcar, but it leaves the potential to create the ultimate sleeper.

Once fully tuned, this is capable of becoming one of the highest-powered cars in the game, with an incredible 1,876 hp for the taking!

Check out the video to witness the laughable tenth-gear skids. There’s certainly not a lack of power available here. We can’t deny that we do wish it were available in more cars.

6.1L V12 (BMW S70/2)

  • Cost: 75,000 CR
  • Stock aspiration: N/A
  • Stock power: 627 hp / 480 ft/lb torque
  • Maximum potential power: 1,437 hp / 1,050 ft/lb torque
  • OEM engine: McLaren F1

Our favorite compatible car for the 6.1L V12 engine swap:

  • 1997 Toyota Supra RZ

Sure, it may be blasphemy to remove the 2JZ from the Supra, but the fact that Turn 10 decided to add this as an engine swap for two other McLaren models and the Supra, tells us that they may have done this a little tongue-in-cheek to wind up the 2JZ fanboys.

Although the McLaren F1 launched way back in 1992, it was a revolutionary car for its time, and this engine is a testament to its full potential.

With owners such as Elon Musk and Jay Leno, Mr. Bean himself (Rowan Atkinson) also owned one, before going on to crash it.

He probably should’ve just bought Forza Horizon 4 before thinking he was a hero on the streets.

If you fancy a change in your Supra, then this is a great swap, and one we highly recommend trying – providing you can prise yourself away from the 2JZ!


Conclusion

So, there we have it! As always, we don’t expect our decisions to come without some controversy.

And, we do apologize for recommending swapping out the 2JZ Supra occasionally, but there are so many tempting engine swaps in Forza Horizon 4 that it’s the perfect opportunity to explore.

You can always come back to the loyal 2J afterward and beg for forgiveness like we are.

Jokes aside, there is a colossal variety of engine swaps for you to enjoy in Forza Horizon 4, and given that it looks like we’re not going to see Horizon 5 anytime soon, this is the perfect opportunity to explore parts of the game you’ve neglected until now.

Just remember that the British roads don’t need crazy amounts of power for drifting, so it can be the perfect time to enjoy some high-revving, naturally aspirated setups and learn to master the art of car control.

nissan skyline r34 gtr godzilla

If you’re looking to improve your drifting skills and gain a complete understanding of advanced drift techniques, then make sure you head over to our comprehensive How To Drift Guide.

We hope we’ve provided the answers to all the questions you may have, and we also hope you enjoy our recommended swaps.

If you feel there’s another engine worthy of a mention, then feel free to drop us a line, and we’ll try our best to add it to our list.

Fingers crossed, when Forza Horizon 5 finally arrives, it’ll be worth the wait, feature more engine swaps than ever before, and with any luck – it’ll be hosted in Japan! (We can always hope, right?)

Want to fine tune your new drift car in Forza Horizon 4? Check out our Ultimate Forza Horizon 4 Tuning Guide here!

Want to build a drift car for Forza Horizon 4? Here’s our Forza Horizon 4 drift tune guide.

Eager to know the latest news on the Forza series? Here’s what we know about Forza Motorsport 8.

Looking to try Forza Horizon 4 on your VR rig? Then read our VR guide.


Thank you for reading our Forza Horizon 4 Engine Swaps guide.

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Photography credits

We thank the following entities for the use of their photography in this article:

author avatar Written by Joe Terrell Drifted.com founder, motoring journalist and all-round car enthusiast. Read more about Joe and the Drifted team on our about us page.

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