The HKS Yaris GR Wants The 2JZ Yaris's Lunch

NOB making the donuts.
Gif: Youtube/NOBチャンネル

The 2JZ Yaris is back and it’s on fire, but don’t worry: It’s a controlled burn.


Watch the fire-breathing 2JZ Yaris below:

And because we’re sure our coverage has endeared you to this mighty hatch, we’re bringing you more Yaris goodness. After our last post, readers rightly noted that the 2JZ in Daigo Saito’s Yaris represented a significant increase in weight over the stock layout. After all, the legendary iron-block engine’s weight is what David Tracy calls “prodigious” at more than 500 pounds. And considering Daigo Saito did away with the GR-Four setup, his Yaris may have drifted too far from the stock Yaris GR mandate that prioritizes output-to-mass and getting power to the wheels efficiently.

In light of this, we want to share this other creation, the HKS Yaris.

It’s not rocking a 2JZ swap, so all of you Yaris GR purists should be delighted. Well, for the most part, since its engine is tuned to produce more power than its factory siblings. The HKS Yaris stays mostly true to the Gazoo Racing formula, keeping the four-wheel drive and three-cylinder mill in place. The tuned G16E-GTS engine in the HKS Yaris produces 350 horsepower.

The stock inline-three engine weighs 240 pounds, according to calculations from Toyota-Club forum members. That’s much lighter than the 2JZ.

To top it all off — as if HKS’s classic purple and teal color scheme is not enough— the car is driven by another drifting legend, Nobuteru Taniguchi, or NOB, of D1 Grand Prix and Super GT Fame. He piloted the iconic Nissan Silvia S15 for HKS.


In the video at the top, the two drifting champions exchange thoughts over the divergent approaches while the HKS team gets to work dialing in the tune for the Yaris. Daigo Saito even gets behind the wheel of the HKS Yaris and rips up the track. It seems the 4WD system in the HKS Yaris presented some difficulties for NOB, but that didn’t stop him from gracing us with tight-degree donuts. Watching the two champs in their element with those two machines is a treat.


The different approaches are fantastic, and their shared platform gives us a good test bench. Given the chance, which Yaris would you pick? The heavy-hitter Yaris that exchanges traction and lightness for power, or the lighter and nimbler Yaris that sticks to the track?

Staff Writer at Jalopnik. Periodista automotriz, Naturally Aspirated Stan.


Half-track El Camino

I just seriously dig that photo of the two drifters fist-bumping while also munching on mouthfuls of egg sandwich. Now that’s something I can identify with.