There's good reason to love the mighty little Toyota GR Yaris. The spritely hot hatch packs an angry 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that sends 261 brake horsepower (195 kilowatts) to all four wheels. It's already a fun-loving machine, but more power is never a bad thing. The real question is whether a modest increase under the hood is worth the money spent.
In this case, the CarWow crew lined up a bone stock GR Yaris with an otherwise identical model, right down to the color. The only differences are Litchfield stripes on the side, which advertises a Litchfield tune to the engine. Combined with a high-flow air filter, the Litchfield-modified GR Yaris makes a claimed 305 hp (227 kW). That's a modest 44-hp (33 kW) increase, with torque also elevated slightly from 266 pound-feet (360 Newton-meters) to 288 lb-ft (390 Nm). The tune reportedly costs $900, but does it actually deliver on its promise of more power?
That's where the drag racing comes in. Four races are held, with two being from a stop and two more from a roll. Both cars shift gears the old-fashioned way, and surprisingly, the first race sees the stock Yaris jump out to a sizable lead at the launch. However, it appears the advantage was due to a premature start in the far lane, because the tuned Yaris makes up the difference and then some before crossing the line. A second dig race saw an even start between the two, and yes, the extra horsepower certainly makes a difference. It also makes a difference in the two roll races, though the cars seem better matched at speed.
Gallery: 2020 Toyota GR Yaris
The $900 upgrade certainly gives the Litchfield-tuned Yaris a performance boost, but we're forced to revisit our original question. Is the extra punch worth the money?
Hit the video and share your thoughts on speed-versus-investment.