Toyota likes to get as much grunt from diminutive engines as it can. That goes for the tiny three-cylinder engine found in the GR Yaris, a model not sold in the US. Available here until last year, maybe it should have advertised the potential this pocket rocket has. An Australian tuner just got a whopping 472 hp from one, with only simple mods. It’s just one more reason why we wish the Yaris was still here.
The G16E three-cylinder powers the GR Yaris hot hatch
Toyota’s 1.6-liter three-cylinder is found in the GR Yaris. Australian tuners Powertune dynoed its G16E at the wheels with 36 psi of boost from a larger turbo and intercooler. The only other modification was upgrading the valve springs. All of the rest of the engine was untouched. Once bolted up to the dyno, a surge tank setup helped feed E85 fuel.
Besides the 472 hp, it also pumped out 368 lb-ft of torque. Since the dyno runs, Powertune has experienced no issues with the larger huffer. Oil pressure remains stable, with no leaking at the cylinder head, which would indicate it is lifting from the 36 psi pressure.
The same GR Yaris engine hit 11.22 in the quarter-mile with 362 hp
This isn’t the first time this engine has been breathed on. It ran 11.72 in the quarter-mile with 362 hp. That was good for 122 mph. It is now expected to be in the 10-second range and north of 130 mph.
Owner Andrew Hawkins says this is the quickest, most powerful Yaris in the world. Maybe that is in his world, or maybe that is a legit statement. Either way, it is one quick mini-motor.
The World Timing Attack is the next step for this diminutive 3-banger
His future plans call for getting the Yaris in some circuit racing arenas. Specifically, the World Timing Attack. For that, he says he’ll need to redesign the turbo system for better performance out of corners. That will soften peak power, but for circuit racing that shouldn’t be a problem.
Toyota has sold the Yaris in the US since 2007. Slow sales doomed its return in 2021. But the rest of the world can follow Hawkins’ exploits and maybe give their own Yaris a boost. The tiny car can already zip in and out of corners in stock form. With some extra grunt, it should be an even bigger blast.