Hot hatch gets hotter: Toyota GR Yaris gets 300bhp boost

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Words: Matthew Hansen
14 Jan 2021

It felt almost inevitable that Toyota’s highly anticipated new hot hatch, the incredible GR Yaris, would become a bit of a tuning world darling in the midst of its undeniable hype. And, that appears to be coming to fruition thanks to UK firm Litchfield.

Out of the box the GR Yaris is a quick enough little nugget regardless. From the factory its 1.6-lire turbocharged triple produces 200kW of power and 360Nm of torque. That may look down relative to some other hot hatches, but remember that the GR is both significantly smaller than a large bulk of its price-based competition, and it packs all-wheel drive.

Still, people always want more. And, Litchfield aims to deliver. The firm recently revealed that it’s been able to boost the pint-sized hatch’s power output to over 300bhp, or approximately 225kW — placing the GR Yaris firmly in 228kW Honda Civic Type R and Volkswagen Golf R territory.

The power tweak has been achieved via cranking up the Yaris’ boost, as well as installing a new exhaust system, a new intake, and upgraded intercooler. It’s worth noting that things are still in their developmental phase, but Litchfield appears confident of success.

Litchfield is also looking at roll-cage tech, race seats, improved chassis bushings, and a transformed suspension package via either a two-way adjustable or three-way adjustable system sourced from Nitron, for what may become the company’s own bespoke GR Yaris model. The Nitron package looks set to improve the GR Yaris’ comfort levels, as well as its performance levels.

“The Toyota GR Yaris gave the whole team a lift at the end of the year. We can’t think of a more anticipated car. From the very first reviews it was clear this was something special and having cut our teeth with Subarus and Evos we had couldn’t wait to receive our cars,” said Iain Litchfield.

“So far we have a number of parts in development and hope to release the first components in Jan/Feb. We have our own exhaust being produced now with both a Catalyst back system and later OPF removal options. We have a bolt in cage being designed, intake system currently in the CAD stages, our own tuning box setup on the dyno, larger intercooler, revised chassis bushes, suspension spring kit and most importantly replacement seats and lowering options being tested.

“Our biggest change to the car comes from our new suspension kit and handling setup. Once the initial novelty of this amazing car begins to wear off you are aware of the unforgiving ride which over longer journeys can become tiresome. It also sits very high with large gaps in the arches.”

You can check out NZ Autocar Magazine’s full review of the GR Yaris in our current bumper 140-page Summer issue, in stores now.

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