In a fantastic testament to the brilliantly bonkers Japanese tuning scene, there are already two Toyota GR Yaris drift cars in the country with 2JZ engine transplants. At least, we’re almost certain there is.
As D1 and Formula Drift champion Daigo Saito revealed his inline-six-swapped GR Yaris last week, we learned of a similar project out there. A Cusco-branded GR Yaris was seen drifting its way around Nikko circuit, belting out that unmistakable 2J soundtrack. After a little digging, we were able to confirm it’s an official Cusco effort. What’s more, the Japanese company - which supplied suspension parts for Saito-san’s car - sent us a lovely gallery of drifty images.
Given that the car is still in development, Cusco declined to provide any additional information at this stage, but promised to send the full specification “as soon as possible” (edit: We’ve since been told the car has been built for Arisa Mizuhara, who currently drives a Cusco-built Yaris in the Japanese Rally Championship). We can glean a few details from merely looking at the car, though. As a kick-off, we can see it’s wearing the same Pandem body kit as the other 2JZ-swapped GR Yaris.
The shots of the front and rear suspension, meanwhile, show a setup that carries over precious little from the standard car. This bespoke setup, as seen in the action shots, gives far more steering angle and a big increase in negative camber (particularly at the front).
Drive is seemingly going to the rear wheels exclusively (try packaging a longitudinally-mounted inline-six and an all-wheel drive system in a car as tiny as this), although like Saito-san’s car, in videos it looks like a tricky car to drift even in skilled hands. The short wheelbase is likely a big factor, but in any case, a GR Yaris obliterating its rear tyres is a fantastic sight.