Toyota Is Combining Its Two Best Cars For SEMA

GR Yaris powertrain + GR86 body = a car we desperately wish we could buy
Toyota G16 engine and GR86 body
Toyota G16 engine and GR86 body

It’s no secret that we like what Toyota is doing right now. It currently builds two of the most enthusiast-geared cars on sale – the four-wheel drive rally homologation GR Yaris (as well as the bigger GR Corolla in some markets), and the lightweight, rear-drive GR86 coupe.

We’re sure we’re not the only ones to have spent time idly daydreaming about what would happen if you were to blend the two, but now Toyota USA is going one better and actually making it happen for this year’s SEMA modified car show.

Toyota has given US-based performance specialist Evasive Motorsport the task of dropping a GR Corolla’s 1.6-litre, 300bhp G16 three-cylinder turbo and four-wheel drive system into the body of a GR86.

Remote video URL

Photographer/YouTuber/general car culture legend Larry Chen was invited down to check out some of the build process, and has documented it with an in-depth video and chat with the guys from Evasive.

As is pointed out several times in the video, the result will be something in the spirit of the Celica GT-Four, one of Toyotas ’90s performance heroes that was also a compact, turbocharged four-wheel drive coupe.

Toyota Celica GT-Four
Toyota Celica GT-Four

Like the GR Yaris, that car was designed for the rally stage – in fact, its rally version is perhaps best known for an ingenious but utterly illegal cheat involving its turbo restrictor that saw Toyota stripped of all its points in the 1995 WRC season, even as the FIA acknowledged how clever it was.

We’re still a while off the SEMA show, which is taking place in Las Vegas in November, so the modern-day GT-Four is still a while off completion, but it’s well worth a watch to understand the process and the ethos behind this build.

Most importantly, though, now it’s been proven to be possible: Toyota, when are you going to do the decent thing and put this on sale to the public? We promise we’ll start saving up now.


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