Monday, May 5, 2008

Red alert for turbo Yaris

Unveiled at recnt Tokyo Auto Salon - a motor show that gives Jap­anese makers the chance to let their hair down - the Turbo Modellista is set to go on sale in its home market in the next few months, and previews a European version. Based on the Japan-only Yaris RS, it uses a 1.5-litre engine turbocharged by Toyota's in-house tuner, Modellista, and Toyota Racing Development (TRD).

Power is increased by 40bhp to 150bhp at 6,000rpm, and with 196Nm of torque, the newcomer should cover 0-60mph in less than eight seconds on its way to a 135mph top speed.

To ensure all the power reaches the road, TRD has equipped the car with a limited slip differential, and further improved the handling by lowering the ride height 20mm and fitting spe­cially tuned sports suspension.

The looks are enhanced by a muscular bodykit, with large intakes at the front to feed air into the intercooler, plus 17-inch OZ Racing alloys. Inside, the Turbo Concept gets specially des­igned instrumentation, which includes a turbo boost gauge, plus a leatherbound steering wheel and gearknob.