Until the hinted-at Corolla hot hatch finally arrives, the only GR car Toyota offers in the US is the Supra. But overseas, the GR Yaris has been making plenty of waves—and that’s even before the tuners got a hold of it. Specifically, UK-based Litchfield. However, the six-cylinder Toyota Supra 3.0 has also gotten a power boost for 2021. So, which is faster? The YouTube team at Carwow decided to find out.
A Litchfield tune makes the 2021 Toyota GR Yaris even quicker
The 2021 Toyota GR Yaris is already an impressive hot hatch. Unlike the standard car, the GR Yaris has AWD. And it comes with what is officially the most powerful production three-cylinder engine in the world, MotorTrend reports. It’s a 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine rated at 257 hp and 265 lb-ft linked to a six-speed manual transmission.
But that engine isn’t the only tool in the 2021 Toyota GR Yaris’s performance toolbox. It’s also rather light, thanks to a carbon-fiber roof and aluminum doors, trunk, and hood. Even in its heaviest form, it only weighs 2888 pounds, Road & Track reports. As a result, it goes 0-62 mph in a claimed 5.5 seconds.
However, for UK tuner Litchfield, that wasn’t quite fast enough. To remedy that, the company tweaked the ECU and fitted a performance air filter, boosting the hatch’s output to 305 hp and 287 lb-ft. And to help control the extra horsepower, Litchfield also fitted a fully-adjustable set of NTR R1 coil-overs, R&T reports. Exactly how much time Litchfield’s tune takes off the factory 0-62 mph estimate isn’t known, but it’s quite a bit, GQ reports.
That’s even more impressive given that Toyota’s estimates might be off. Top Gear’s long-term 2021 GR Yaris managed to sprint to 60 mph in 4.64 seconds without any modifications. Litchfield’s tune could very well bring that time down to under 4.5 seconds.
But even without a tune, the 2021 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 is seriously speedy
Speaking of conservative estimates, Toyota might also be doing that with the 2021 Supra 3.0. Officially, the car’s 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six makes 382 hp and 368 lb-ft. And that power goes to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic.
However, when Car and Driver ran a 2021 Toyota Supra 3.0 on the dyno, the car put down 388 hp and 421 lb-ft at the rear wheels. Admittedly, Car and Driver noted that the dyno settings could be causing it to overestimate the rear-wheel torque. But regardless, even with Litchfield’s help, the 2021 Supra 3.0 is more powerful than the GR Yaris.
And on paper, it’s also faster. In Car and Driver’s hands, the 2021 Toyota Supra 3.0 went 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds. That’s despite lacking AWD and carrying roughly 460 extra pounds. Plus, for those who crave even more speed, Litchfield tuned the Supra, too.
But those are numbers on a spec sheet. What happens IRL?
How Carwow tested these cars
Carwow’s tests were fairly straightforward. First, the two cars competed in a ¼-mile standing-start drag race using launch control. Next, they went head-to-head in two rolling races from 50 mph: the first race starting in sixth gear, and the second in third gear. Finally, there was a brake test from 70 mph.
Initially, it seems like the 2021 Toyota Supra 3.0 has a speed advantage. However, Carwow ran its tests on a damp surface, which gives AWD cars an advantage. Plus, host Mat Watson notes that the Supra’s launch control sometimes has problems with launching the car smoothly.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean the Litchfield-tuned GR Yaris will prevail, either. Unlike the Supra, it has a manual transmission, meaning slower and less-smooth shifts. Plus, that extra power might not make up the difference in the cars’ ¼-mile times. Car and Driver estimates that a stock GR Yaris runs the ¼-mile in 13.9 seconds. But in testing, the 2021 Supra 3.0 only needed 12.1 seconds to do the same, Car and Driver reports.
Which is faster: the 2021 Toyota Supra or the Litchfield-tuned GR Yaris?
Initially, the 2021 Toyota Supra 3.0 did have a launch-control glitch. But it quickly recovered and ultimately prevailed over the tuned GR Yaris.
To be fair, the results were fairly close. On the damp surface, the Supra 3.0 needed 12.5 seconds to run the ¼-mile, while the Yaris was just 0.1 seconds behind. But even with the output boost, the hot hatch couldn’t keep up with the coupe in the rolling races. And even with its weight disadvantage, the Supra beat the Yaris in the braking test.
Litchfield’s touch does make a difference, it turns out. But even so, the 2021 Toyota Supra 3.0 is faster still.
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