February 22, 2018 By Francis G. Pallarco Images by Jerel Fajardo

2017 Toyota Yaris – The little car that could

Turbocharging. When it comes to substantially increasing the power output from a small displacement engine, it’s still regarded as one of the best methods.

In fact, turbochargers simply make more sense, as they improve the efficiency of the engine by simply making use of the spent exhaust gases that would normally just pass through the muffler and exit the atmosphere. That explains why the people behind this small beast of a car fully and know and understand all about making power. This is why our unassuming featured Yaris is packing a fully built turbocharged engine under the hood.

The need to go faster came about in 2014 because of the then upcoming first Toyota Vios Cup where soon to be Vios Cup champion, 15-year old Luis Gono, was recruited by the Obengers Team to drive for Toyota North EDSA. Since the Vios Cup racecars weren’t available yet, Mr. Carlos Gono of Motul/Autoplus, Luis’ supportive father, bought a new 1.5-liter Vios. Temporarily this was to serve as a practice car for Luis who needed to learn the racing lines and especially the precise gear changes when approaching the corners, crucial in setting a good lap time. Tasked to set up the Vios was none other than Francisco “Pacho” Blanco of Autoplus and BRE Racing as he explains, “We installed BC coilovers and a custom Autoplus exhaust and Luis started training with that Vios. I remember that he used that Vios for about two months until the Toyota North EDSA Vios Cup racecar became available.

It didn’t take long for them to look for more performance out of the normally aspirated 1.5-liter engine as Pacho says, “Carlos Gono decided to further modify the engine so we installed a low psi turbo with intercooler, bigger injectors, high flow fuel pump, and an Adaptronic ECU using the stock internals. After the car was tuned @ 10 psi, it was already producing 180whp. In fact, boss Gono liked how fast the car went that he even used it as his daily driver for some time. Luis Gono did a time of 2:13 in CIS on that car.”

Our featured car came about when Mr. Gono decided to buy a Yaris and transfer all the mods on to it as Pacho adds, “We transferred all the under-chassis components, suspension and brakes from the 1.5 Vios to the Yaris. Also, he bought a surplus 1.5-liter Vios engine to replace the puny 1.3-liter Yaris engine. But before swapping the bigger engine, we rebuilt it entirely using aftermarket internal parts such as forged pistons and H beam connecting rods, stage 3 Head Works and ARP head studs.” Concerning turbocharging, Pacho notes that fortifying the internals should be the first step in turbocharging an engine to make it withstand the high intake pressure coming from the turbo. A custom set of charge pipes were fabbed while a Garrett GTX2862R turbo was used with fuel delivery upgrades such as bigger fuel injectors and large capacity fuel pump. After tuning the Adaptronic ECU, Pacho notes, “The maximum output we got on E85 Sea Oil fuel was 290whp. Luis Gono tested the car around CIS and he clocked 2:09.” Not bad for a small car.

Mission accomplished, so it seems, having transformed a small hatch to handle better and have more horsepower. But the best part of it all was about to unfold for Pacho as, “After a year, boss Gono asked me if I wanted to own the car, of course I wanted it. So he says to me, ‘you built it; enjoy it.’ And out of his kindness, he gave me terms to pay the car, even if other people wanted to buy the car in cash and for a better price. By the blessing of GOD I’m now the owner of a car that we built here in Autoplus and I’m proud to say it is the fastest Yaris in the country so far.” Godspeed to you!


2017 Toyota Yaris

Francisco “Pacho” Blanco

Engine Mods: Forged pistons, H-Beam connecting rods, Stage 3 cylinder head works, ARP head studs, SARD 265 Fuel Pump, Autoplus custom charge pipes and exhaust, Garrett GTX2862R turbine, Custom aluminum radiator, Turbosmart blow-off valve, 650cc Fuel Injectors, SARD rad cap, silicone hoses, Motul 300V 15w50 oil

Transmission: Clutch type LSD 3.7 Final drive gear, Motul Competition FF 75W90 gear oil for front wheel drive LSD

Engine Management: Adaptronic ECU

Horsepower: 290 whp using E85 fuel on the Autoplus Dyno

Brake Mods: Project Mu Brake Pads

Interior: Recaro Bucket Seats, Works Bell Steering wheel adaptor, Project Mu pedal set

Exterior: TRD Spoiler and TRD Fog Lamps

Rollers: Volk Rays TE37V Wheels (17×7.5), Federal RS-R Tires (225/45ZR17)

Best Lap Time: Luis Gono 2:09 @ Clark International Speedway

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