Update [January 28, 2022]: Ekanoo Racing’s Toyota GR Yaris returned to the Bahrain GP drag strip while still on street rubber and managed to dip into the 10s, pulling a 10.987s run at 207 km/h (128.5 mph), with the third video below showcasing the stunt.
Original article: What does the rally DNA of the Toyota GR Yaris mean outside WRC stages? Quite a lot, really, from the fact that its turbo three-cylinder 1.6L engine can take a lot of extra power to its uber-efficient AWD setup. Multiple tuners from around the world are currently building on the amazing potential of the factory model, with Ekanoo Racing having recently set a quarter-mile record for the pocket rocket.
The stock GR Yaris, with its 257 hp, has already proven it can deliver a 12.7s 1/4-mile run at 108 mph last year, with the numbers also being achieved by Ekanoo. And with the Bahrain-based specialist having done considerable work on the machine meanwhile, the tuner recently returned to the Bahrain GP drag strip to put the subcompact to the test.
The result was an 11.02s run at 209 km/h (130 mph), with the first number making for a world record. However, the vehicle still ran on street tires, which probably means that the slicks the team plans to add soon should be enough to break into the 10s.
Ekanoo Racing, which has given us amazing McLaren, Nissan, Porsche, and Toyota builds over the years, is far from done with the GR Yaris, so consider the three-run stunt you’ll see in the first clip below more of a warm-up effort—the tuner does explain some of the shortcomings of the drag strip stint, such as the clutch slipping (yep, this still has a manual).
“These runs were all done within ten minutes, zero cooling down of the car. We had street tires, the clutch started to slip, and shifting had to be done softer. We decided to come back next month on slick tires,”
The closer we zoom in on the go-fast numbers of the toy—even with the sticky surface of the track facilitating the launch—the more impressive the little thing becomes.
For one, the Draggy (GPS monitoring) stats show a 0-100 mk/h (62 mph) time of 3.58s, while the 0-200 km/h (0-124 kph) sprint takes 10.21s, which is remarkably close to supecar territory.
The recipe for the Ekanoo Racing Toyota GR Yaris sauce is still secret
What’s under the hood? A recent dyno run, which can be seen in the second video below, shows that the 1.6L turbo-three now churns out 519 horsepower and 433 lb-ft (587 Nm) of torque at the wheels—for the sake of comparing apples to orange, we’ll mention that both power and especially torque are now over what the 2022 World Rally Car, with is hybrid system, delivers.
The tuner doesn’t offer a full list of goodies, so we have to look for various bits here and there. For starters, while the company hasn’t talked about the internals, we assume these are still the factory units, based on the fact that competitors showcasing their tech have managed to pull somewhat similar numbers using unopened engines—of course, you can always 2JZ the thing and call it a day.
Of course, the turbo, intercooler, intake, and exhaust have been modded, while a Motec electronic management system has been installed.
At the recent 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon, Toyota itself introduced the even-sharper GRMN Yaris Japan-only limited editions in circuit and rally spec, with prices for the hot hatch climbing up to 8,467,000 yen ($74,319 at the current exchange rates), so it’s no wonder tuners are pushing the platform that far. If only this hot hatchback would be imported to the US…