When deliveries finally begin on our shores, the Toyota GR Yaris will already represent a really rather large improvement over the standard, hybrid-obsessed hatchback. Its 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine will produce 272hp, and a clever four-wheel-drive system will send up to 70 per cent of the power to the rear wheels. 

There’ll be a six-speed manual gearbox and vastly improved brakes too. Plus, the whole thing will be clad in a lightweight aluminium three-door bodyshell with a carbon roof. It’ll dispatch 0-100km/h in around five seconds and there’ll even be an optional ‘circuit pack’, with lighter forged wheels, stickier tyres and limited-slip differentials front and rear. 

Yeah, it’ll be a serious bit of rally-bred kit. So, what do you reckon drift legend Daigo Saito did immediately after taking delivery of his, in Japan? Why, he stripped it down to the bare shell and threw out pretty much everything Toyota and Gazoo Racing fit as standard, of course, before embarking on a mission to plug-in the most iconic Japanese drivetrain of all time.

Yep, when it’s finished, Daigo’s little project will be a 1,000bhp, rear-wheel drive, 2JZ-engined GR Yaris with a madcap widebody kit courtesy of Pandem (which Daigo has helpfully previewed by fitting it to a liveried but mechanically standard GR Yaris).

The man is bonkers and we love him. It’s worth remembering he was also the first to fit the new MkV Supra with the MkIV’s 2JZ.

The Frankenstein’s Yaris will be used as a drift car (of course) so there’ll be a million other modifications that aren’t listed here, but for now it’s worth drinking in the details from the above photos – all of which come from Saito’s Instagram account which you can follow here. You know you want to…

STORY Greg Potts

Related Articles