Supersprint Hero: A Supercharged Toyota Yaris
For most, the second-gen Toyota Yaris is an everyday econobox. Essentially, it is a “sportier” hatchback version of the practical and affordable Vios sedan; And they’re not wrong to think so. Since the first-generation model was launched in 1999 as the Vitz/Echo, that’s what Toyota intended the car to be. But over in Japan, Toyota also built versions of the hatchback to go fast – the RS – and as with most cool models, we didn’t get that variant locally.
Thanks to numerous supplies of halfcuts and surplus parts, it’s not exactly hard to build a Japan-spec Yaris RS locally. But what if it could be turned into a fast hatchback capable of dominating autocross and circuits? Well, that’s a different question altogether. A few have had success with this, and one such example is this second-gen Yaris built by autocross and local Toyota legend Robert Tan.
Toyota afficionados around town know Robert as one of the head figures in Grupo Toyota. As for his cars, his blue AE111 Corolla “Lovelife” was a familiar sight at most autocross and circuit events. For those that have been in the scene long enough, he was also behind the infamous ‘Bumtuner’ Toyota Fortuner that once beat a race-prepped KP60 Starlet on an autocross course years back. Since 2017 though, he’s been using this Red Yaris instead. Considering his regular stints of autocrossing and track work, switching to a modern, more useable platform with heaps of parts availability made a lot of sense. And with pretty much everything Toyota in his mind, Robert deemed the second-gen Yaris a potent candidate for his purpose.
Like most Toyotas from the early 2000s, there are a bunch of OEM bumpers and parts available from the Yaris – from Japan and even from Europe. Robert’s Yaris sports the commonly seen “RS2” bumpers but features the hard-to-find TRD Sportivo kit. The OEM kit is complemented by a roof-mounted spoiler. And before you say spoilers don’t make you go faster, do remember Robert drives this car hard, and downforce is needed. Meanwhile, a carbon fiber hood and tailgate put the already lightweight Yaris even further on a diet.
Depending on Robert’s mood, this Yaris sits on various wheels ranging from the iconic Volk Racing TE37s to Wedsports SA90s. But our favorite would be these rare OMP Sport Wheels. Since Robert also uses the car on the streets, these particular wheels are wearing Bridgestone RE003 tires.
Hidden behind these wheels are large Runstop brakes and a dual caliper setup for the rear; this car is intended for autocross, after all. To improve handling both on the street and track, the Yaris sits on Dynamics coilovers and tuned by suspension guru Coilover Specialist to bring out the hatchback’s full potential. Though hidden from plain sight, the Yaris sports numerous chassis braces to help stiffen the body.
It’s all business once you step into the office. The factory steering wheel has been ditched for a Momo Prototipo unit with a Tom’s horn button. A Recaro Pole Position seat and Sabelt harness secure Robert in place when pushing the Yaris to the max. Those riding shotgun will have to settle for a Recaro Enjoy - not at all a bad seat but they’ll certainly have to hold onto something else. The rear seats have been ditched, and a half cage has been fitted in its place.
Under the hood, the Yaris still uses the factory 1.5-liter 1NZ engine with the addition of a Blitz supercharger. We weren’t told what the power output was, but we’re assuming it’s easily double what the engine originally produced. To support the added power, the 1NZ’s internals were changed featuring BC Racing valve springs and a new camshaft. The stock ECU was also reflashed to bring out the supercharged engine’s full potential. A 6-speed C160 gearbox and a Kaaz 1.5-way LSD help put the added power down to the front wheels.
We really wanted to see the lap times this Yaris is capable of with Robert behind the wheel. After years of abuse on track though, its pistons suffered from ringland failure (talk about a page off Subaru’s book - ed.) just a few weeks after we did this shoot. Robert says there’s no need to worry since a surplus 1NZ engine block only costs PhP 15,000 - and that’s a price you won’t mind paying to get you back on track real quick. At least we will see this Yaris on the track and murdering cones on autocross courses again very soon.
Toyotas, immortal and affordable right?
Words and Photos by Jose Altoveros
2010 Toyota Yaris 1NZ Supercharged
Engine and Driveline
BC Racing Valve Springs – Gmet Trading
Innermotive mild camshaft – Gmet Trading
Fuel Lab fuel filter - LimitZero Trading
Fuel Lab Fuel Pump - LimitZero Trading
Brodeth Motorsports Headers
Lava Wrap – LimitZero Trading
Brodeth Motorsports Resonator and mid pipe
Boot Spot racing muffler – Hazardboy Performance
Fabrix Eco Filter Cold Air Intake
Custom Oil Catch Can – Brodeth Motorsports, Fabrix Eco Filter
C160 transmission – 1st tranny Ichihara Trading & SB salon, 2nd tranny John Yuroto
Kaaz 1.5 LSD – Gmet Trading
XTD Stage 3 Clutch – Gmet Trading
Innovate Wide Band – Gmet Trading
Stock ECU – Reflashed and tuned by NSR Tuned
Dynopro, dyno partner
Wheels, Brakes, and Suspension
SA90 Wedsport 16”/ RAYS TE37/OMP Sport Wheels
Dynamics Performance Coilovers Suspension Tuned by Coilover Specialist
C-One 4 Point front lower X brace
Pep’s Garage C-One Mid Body brace
Pep’s Garage Beatrush Rear Frame Brace
Pep’s Garage Ultra Racing Rear Anti Roll Bar
Shop105 Cusco Front Tower Bar
Puloyski Custom steel braided lines
Runstop RS1 4pot aluminum 285 big brake kit (front)
Runstop RS2 2 pot aluminum 285 big disc conversion (rear)
Runstop RS2 2 pot metal calipers for the hydraulic handbrake
ForcedSpeed Dicxel Type RA
Riken Motor Sales Brembo Pads for the rear
Autoperformance PH, Brembo PH Runstop Pads for the Hydraulic Hand Brake
RS2 with a TRD Sportivo body kit
Hazardboy Performance PPF by Detail Plus
C-One GT Wing – Pep’s Garage
Carbon 101 Carbon Hood
Carbon 101 Carbon Tailgate
Carbon 101 FRP Rear Doors
LED Manila bulbs
Saito 6pt Rollcage – Hazardboy Performance
Momo prototip – Mars Ocampo
Custom short shift by TTT
Juran seat rails – Hazardboy Performance, Nuelgin Mindanao
Sabelt GT600 carbon seats – Autoperformance PH
Sabelt CCE433SRUN 6 point Harness – Autoperformance PH
Recaro Pole Position – FlatOut Race Series, Excellar
OEM Auto Fab Custom Aluminum Floor and Pedal Plates Windshield and polycarbonate – Aguila Auto Glass
Mechanical work – SB Salon, MR Auto Parts & Shop, Brodeth Motorsport, TTT, Pep’s Garage, Toyota Manila Bay
Body – Prautotype Auto Restoration, JJ Autoworkz, Detail Plus, Cleanshine Master, SilverSheild, Pristine Autos, Marc Mascarado
Fuel, Lubes liquids – Smartfuels2race, Hi-Tec Oils, X-1R
Other parts – JP Wheels, Ichihara Trading, John Yuroto, SB Salon, BriG Auto Parts, Project Vector, HP Racing