This Hayabusa-Swapped Toyota Starlet Hillclimb Car Sounds Like Killer Bees on Steroids
The hills are alive with the sound of Hayabusa…
It's common for people to take a small car and swap in a big engine. But this tiny Toyota Starlet hatchback turned hillclimb monster with a four-pot from a Suzuki Hayabusa sport bike that revs to the heavens is a reminder that sometimes an appropriately-sized powerplant can still get the job done.
A recent video shows the KP61 Starlet delighting the crowd with its incredible exhaust note at the Leadfoot Festival, an annual hillclimb event in New Zealand. Built by the Sanderson Racing Team, the gutted hatchback sports a 1.3-liter inline-four engine putting out 200 horsepower at an ear-splitting 11,400 RPM. Helping manage all that power is the six-speed transmission from the Hayabusa as well, which sends the power back to a rear end from a Toyota AE86.
With the interior gutted, the whole thing weighs in at just over 1,700 pounds. An extensive Speedhunters profile reveals this is no backyard build; the team behind this venomous hatch has put together an incredibly well-sorted and reliable car. In the hillclimb video, its small size gives it the effect of a rocket-powered go kart hurtling towards the sky. It looks and sounds absolutely hilarious.
This isn't even the first swapped Starlet we've seen around these parts. Check out this slightly older model that's been blessed with a 4A-GE Toyota inline-four engine and converted for professional rally use, and try to resist an impulse trip to the classifieds.