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Can You Make Toyota GR Yaris' Turbo Three-Cylinder Sound Awesome?

Toyota's GR Yaris engine will be seen in many future Toyota and Lexus models, and it's good to know there is a way to make it sound and perform much better.

Back in 2020, Toyota of all carmakers gave us one of the most bonkers performance cars – the Toyota GR Yaris. The compact hot hatchback is a homologation special for rallying and was said to be limited to 25,000 units. However, the GR Yaris became more popular than anticipated and so far, Toyota has built 32,000 units with more on the way. 

A big reason for this popularity is Toyota's G16-GTS, turbocharged, three-cylinder engine, which has the highest specific output of any three-cylinder engine for road application – 161.3 horsepower/ liter for the regular GR Yaris or 168.7 horsepower/ liter for the more track-focused, Toyota Yaris GRMN. In the 300-horsepower Toyota GR Corolla, the G16-GTS engine's specific output is an even more impressive, 185.4 horsepower/ liter. 

Despite the amount of performance the little engine churns out, it is still an inline-three engine, which means it doesn't quite pack mighty roar. Then, there are the reliability concerns during prolonged track sessions as we recently reported on a GR Yaris that blew an engine, which blew up the internet.

A small, turbocharged engine usually doesn't sound great, but apparently, small modifications do a ton of difference for the GR Yaris. That said, the people from Auto Torque have developed a package for the engine that, not only improves performance, but greatly improves the soundtrack.  

Turbocharged engines greatly benefit from less-restrictive exhaust and intake setups, and this is exactly the treatment this particular GR Yaris received at the UK workshop.

The stainless-steel exhaust can be had in three different setups, depending on how loud or discrete you want it. The one fitted to this Toyota GR Yaris is the three-box setup, which is quieter than the other two variants, but still much livelier than the stock setup. 

Why stainless-steel and not titanium exhaust? 

The stainless-steel material means the exhaust system could outlive the car. Lots of manufacturers offer titanium exhausts, which is great for shedding weight. However, titanium which becomes fragile with time. Its only advantage is that it is much lighter than stainless steel, but at the cost of longevity. 

What power gains can you expect?  

In another video by Auto Torque, we see before and after dyno runs of a Toyota GR Yaris after fitted with an intake and exhaust system. Judging by the pulls and parts installed, a gain of around 30 horsepower can be expected, and that's without a Stage 1 tune. Other owners have shared that with a Stage 1 tune, they made north of 320 horsepower. Throw a downpipe in the mix and you will be looking at even more gains.  

Even in base form, the GR Yaris engine is impressive 

Toyota GR Yaris is a true pocket rocked, sprinting to 60 mph in just over 5 seconds

Coupled with a close-ratio, six-speed manual and performance-oriented, all-wheel-drive system, the GR Yaris can sprint to 60 mph in as little as 5.3 seconds. While it's far from the American V-8s, the GR Yaris’ main purpose was never to dominate the drag strip. It is to shine on technical circuits in all weather conditions. 

What are your thoughts on the GR Yaris and its little, turbo-three engine? Is it worthy of being considered among the new-generation JDM tuner cars? Or did Toyota go too far with the engine downsizing? Click on the red link below to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

About the author

Dimitar Angelov's automotive interests made him an expert in a wide variety of vehicles. Japanese brands like Toyota are closest to his heart, although performance cars in general are his favorite segment, which is why he is constantly on the lookout for the best deals on the market. Dimitar Angelov's car passion and knack for the written word led him to complete a Master of Arts in Media and Communications, and classic car restoration. Dim is happy to get behind the wheel of any car and share his impressions. You can follow Dimitar on XLinked-inInstagram, and Facebook.

Image source: 2020 Toyota GR Yaris Circuit Pack