Watch and Hear This 4A-GE-Powered Toyota Starlet Rev Its Heart out Climbing Mt. Washington
You’re going to want to turn up your speakers for this one.
The Toyota Starlet was a humble compact which saw brief U.S. availability in the early 1980s. Most Starlets were dull, disposable hatchbacks, but not the one that belongs to Mikko Kataja of Finnish speed shop VHTRacing Engineering. It’s a second-generation P60 Starlet that’s heavily modified for Finnish Group F rally racing.
In lieu of its stock 1.1-liter KP62 inline-four engine, this little beast is packing a DOHC 1.6-liter 4A-GE Toyota inline-four engine. This engine originally saw duty in many Toyotas including the AW11 MR2 and multiple generations of the Corolla and the Celica throughout the '80s and early '90s. The one in Kataja’s Starlet makes 260 horsepower and has a screaming redline of 11,000 rpm thanks to custom internals like the pistons and the crankshaft, a dry sump system, AutoVerdi rods, and a Bosch MS6.4 engine management system according to Engine Swap Depot.
One of the reasons the second-gen Starlet is a popular car to modify is because it was the last one that was rear-wheel drive. This one has a rear end from an AE86 Corolla GT with a Cuso limited slip differential. Power is sent to the back through a Sadev six-speed sequential transmission and a carbon fiber driveshaft.
This rowdy hot hatch conquered Pikes Peak in 2016 and it just made an impressive run in the Mt. Washington Hill Climb in which it took home 10th place overall. Turn up your speakers and hit "play" below for a beautiful symphony of revs.