Tuned 2021 Toyota GR Yaris Shows Just How Far $900 Goes

The 2021 Toyota GR Yaris is already one of the best hot-hatchbacks we’ll likely never get in the U.S. market. However, since this rally-inspired Toyota houses a turbocharged engine under the hood, tuners can increase boost and extract more power.

In a new video posted by Carwow on YouTube, we see a tuned Yaris face off against a completely stock car. Let’s see just how far a $900 tune gets you with this hot-hatch.

How fast is a tuned Toyota GR Yaris?

An image of a red Toyota GR Yaris out on the road.
Toyota GR Yaris | Toyota

The standard 2021 Toyota GR Yaris houses a 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine. Total power output is rated at 257 hp and 266 lb-ft. Power goes to all four wheels via a six-speed manual transmission exclusively. According to Car and Driver, the tiny Yaris reaches 60 mph in 5.3 seconds and completes the quarter-mile in 13.9 seconds. In the U.K., this hot-hatch starts at the equivalent of $33,350.

The second Toyota GR Yaris in Carwow’s video takes things up a notch with a tune from British tuner Litchfield. According to Carwow, the tune itself costs around $900 and bumps power significantly. The tiny hot-hatch now produces 305-hp and 287 lb-ft. This tune specifically is known as a “piggyback” tune. According to Enginebasics, this means that a separate ECU alters the signals coming from the car’s ECU instead of re-writing it.

Since this tune does not appear to be aggressive, it seems the Yaris’ clutch and transmission have no trouble handling the extra output. Let’s see how it stacks up against a stock car.

How does it stack up to a stock car?

To test the pair of 2021 Toyota GR Yaris examples, Carwow went to an empty airstrip for some drag races. The first of the races demonstrates just how quick the tuned car is. After an unfortunate launch in the tuned car, the stock car jumped into the lead. In a race between two stock cars, that would’ve been the end of it. However, the tuned car is so much more powerful that it manages to claw its way to the lead by the end of the race.

In the following races, the tuned Toyota GR Yaris began to shine. While the stock car took 13.3 seconds to complete the quarter-mile, the tuned car completed it in 12.9 seconds. As you might imagine, the tuned car ended up winning all of the drag races.

Aside from outright speed, the added torque across the powerband will likely have a greater impact on the road. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait for a full test to find out.

Will we ever get the GR Yaris in the U.S.?


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If you want a Toyota GR Yaris but live in the United States, you’re out of luck. Unfortunately, the Japanese carmaker has no plans to bring this hot-hatch to the U.S. Thankfully, the carmaker took to Twitter last year to announce that the U.S. market will get its own hot-hatch.

According to Car and Driver, a GR Corolla is set to arrive for the 2022 model year. Like the Yaris, this Corolla will likely produce around 257-hp, says Car and Driver. As of writing, we don’t know when it’ll arrive or how much it will cost. However, since this isn’t a one-off rally-inspired model, it will likely be cheaper than its European counterpart.