Toyota iQ Supercharger, Yaris Turbo Concept get thrust from sub-compact Japanese tuner

Toyota iQ Supercharger

Toyota iQ Supercharger

There’s nothing like a 36 percent increase in horsepower to get a gearhead’s attention, and while a grand total of 128 horsepower may seem less than thrilling to some, when the power output of began at 94 horses in a 2100 lb car, the result is likely to be a bag of giggles. Such is the Toyota iQ Supercharger by the Japanese tuning shop GRMN – Gazoo Racing tuned by MN.

Familiar to Americans as the Scion iQ, the 3+1 sub-compact is sold under the Toyota brand in the rest of the world, mainly because the Scion brand is exclusive to North America. In our first drive of the Scion iQ, it proved more entertaining than we expected, but it fell short of our hopes for a true tiny sports sedan.

GRMN, however, is on its second generation of hottening up the iQ, a further development of the supercharged 1.33-litre engine previously used by GRMN in the Toyota iQ 130G MT.

It’s not all engine, however. The iQ Supercharger also features a six-speed close-ratio manual transmission, uprated brakes, sports suspension and a tuned dual exhaust system.

Depending on one’s view point, GRMN either saddled or endowed the Toyota iQ Supercharger with a full body kit, including rear spoiler, sports seats and instrumentation, 16-inch Enkei alloys and huge vertical scoops at the front end.

A prototype will be shown at the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon, billed as the world’s largest custom car show.

Toyota Yaris Turbo Concept

Toyota Yaris Turbo Concept

GRMN has also modified the latest generation Yaris, building a Turbo Concept. Based on the three-door Yaris (called Vitz in Japan), it’s powered by a 178bhp 1.5-litre turbocharged engine and is track day ready with performance suspension, improved brakes and 18-inch rims.

We tested the 2012 Toyota Yaris SE, and with it’s 106 horsepower 1.5-liter engine, we said the SE “scoots well.” With 178 horsepower, we suspect the scooting would be outstanding.

The chances of scooting in either car, however, is remote as it’s likely that neither car will ever see this side of the Pacific. At any rate, the Toyota iQ Supercharger will be limited to 100 vehicles. Still, given the opportunity to drive either car we’d be there, complete with our own bag of giggles.