Toyota Builds Excitement in Japan With Blade Master GS

While Toyota's been following the US-market line of boring car buyers into a vegetative state, then taking their money, in Japan they're playing mix-and-match with stuff in their parts bin to quicken buyers' collective pulse. In Japan, Toyota's offering a hotted-up version of its Blade hatch — itself a sportier variant of the Corolla-based Auris hatch. Removing the Blade's standard 2.4-liter four, ToMoCo replaced it with the same 3.5-liter 2GR-FE V6 as powers the Lexus IS350 in the US. The result is the Blade Master G. The hot hatch produces 276 horsepower and 254 lb-ft of torque. The engine swap puts an modest extra 176 lbs on the Blade's front section, which Winding Road surmises will likely give it the nose of a 1989 Barolo Monprivato, though not quite in those terms. A six-speed sequential auto with paddle shifters, 17-inch alloys and a deeper-inset grille complete the package. Nodding off is likely not an option. [Winding Road]