You may have heard about a pocket rocket dubbed Toyota Yaris GR, a subcompact sending 261 hp to all four wheels to give sportscars nightmares. And since you’re familiar with it, Toyota decided to inject some novelty into the already bonkers label at the just-opened 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon, releasing the wider, lower, stiffer, and even more powerful Yaris GRMN in Circuit and Rally trims. Well, we’re here to go even deeper down this rabbit hole, all thanks to a build dubbed GR Yaris Junior.
The original sits at about 4 meters in length (159 inches), but the contraption greeting us on the Japanese event’s floor is based on a (discontinued) Toyota model that’s around 1 meter (39 inches) shorter, so what can this be? The iQ city car released back in 2008, of course!
The project was put together by a group of students of the Saitama Automobile College and we have to admit the appearance transformation goes quite deep—whether you gaze at the little thing from up front or from the posterior, you’ll be convinced somebody forgot the Yaris in the spin cycle and then threw in a set of custom wheels.
Now, as you probably remember, the iQ was also rebadged as an Aston Martin Cygnet, albeit without the kind of firepower we normally associate with the British marque (there was also the Scion iQ).
Well, the Japanese creators have overcome this issue. So, instead of the usual modest powerplant sitting up front, this creature is motivated by a Kawasaki motorcycle engine that takes the place of the rear seats.
It’s over 10,000 (rpm)!
The said school’s website mentions a ZX-14R powerplant—in standard form, the 1,441 cc four-cylinder churns out 208 hp (211 PS) and 113 lb-ft (154 Nm) of torque. However, since this is an engine that can rev past 10,000 rpm, the driving experience is dramatically different, even when compared to the ludicrous Cygnet V8 one-off that Aston Martin showcased in 2018.
The Kawasaki’s factory hardware includes a six-speed sequential and, judging by the single interior photo we have here, it looks like a sequential shifter sits between the seats.
Speaking of the cabin, this features a pair of bucket seats, a three-spoke Momo steering wheel, a custom instrument cluster (would you look at that rev-savvy tacho!), and a center console screen.
The tiny wheelbase of the machine, coupled with the serious power and the considerably wider tires should make for quite an adventure, rear window-protruding exhaust and all.