Formula Drift Driver Daigo Saito Has Built A 2JZ Powered Toyota GR Yaris – And It Rips!
Written by Alex Harrington

It’s safe to say that I’ve been watching the positive reviews of the new Toyota GR Yaris roll in and, like most people, I’ve been considering whacking some money down on one. Not only is this AWD hot hatch a more than welcome addition to the segment, but it also marks one hell of a change for Toyota. This Yaris is a homologation, and shares a number of key parts with the full-blown rally car, but it also shows Toyota’s interest in investing in its portfolio. Not to increase revenue, but instead to increase our love for the brand. And it’s worked.

Everyone seems to be pining over the thing and praising Toyota for its daring attempt at something special after it was criticised for the new Supra being “too BMW”. But now a Formula Drift driver has got his hands on one, and he’s going to push it even further.

The Formula Drift champion Daigo Saito and his team has removed the plucky three-cylinder from under the hood, and replaced it with one of the most legendary Toyota engines available, a 2JZ. See it in action below:

The car is now producing 1,000PS, almost 1,000 horsepower, and pushing is to the rear wheels allowing for some proper sideways action. And boy does it look the part stacked onto a trailer with a Formula Drift tuned Toyota Supra.

Looking at the photos of the engine bay, the 2JZ is being cold air by a huge Garrett turbo, and I expect, like his Supra, it’s running the HKS’ 3.4-litre enlargement kit to increase power even further.

As you can see, this new engine has been mounted longitudinally, unlike the stock block which sits transversely. There’s no mistaking, this car has undergone some serious surgery to make this happen and give the straight-six 2J room to breathe. Armed with a widebody kit from Rocket Bunny Pandem and an angle kit from Cusco, this thing not only sounds and goes like stink, but it also looks the part against the countless other Formula Drift cars that will be seen on track later today at Irwindale, California.

We here at SG are very excited to see this one and only 2JZ-powered GR Yaris hit the track, although it looks like another one may be undergoing testing right now, too. Damn, does it get better than this?

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