This 10,000 RPM V8-Powered Toyota Starlet Is Everything A Car Should Be

This 10,000 RPM V8-Powered Toyota Starlet Is Everything A Car Should Be

The recipe for next-level racing coolness factor is simple. You start with a small car. Then you add in a motorcycle engine of some kind. The final step is to put a maniac behind the wheel and run flat out on a hillclimb road. It’s been proven over and over again to make what’s left of my hair stand on end. If everyone had a teeny tiny little car with a motorcycle engine in it that revs to 10,500 RPM, the world would be a much better place. That’s a fact.

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This KP60-generation Starlet probably would have come from the factory with a 60-ish horsepower 1.3-liter Toyota 4K engine and a five-speed manual transmission. All of that has been pitched in the bin as homage to the gods of speed, instead favoring a custom-block V8 using Suzuki Hayabusa internals and cylinder heads. It’s basically two superbike engines jammed together to form a single 2.6-liter V8. In stock configuration the Hayabusa makes about 200 horsepower, which is more than enough to turn a squid into road jelly in ten seconds flat. The racer claims their billet ‘Busa V8 is making a little over 340 horsepower in a two-hundred pound package, though development is ongoing. It’s shifted through a custom six-speed sequential box now, natch.

Just listen to this little monster scoot.

TOYOTA STARLET Double Hayabusa V8 || 10.500RPM Monster ONBOARD

And in case you were wondering, Kataja used to race this very same Starlet with an extremely-built 4AGE engine in it. Here it is posting the fastest time of day at the 2016 Empire Hillclimb in Michigan. A 4AGE is pretty good for a car engine, but it won’t ever be as cool as a motorcycle engine. And it definitely won’t be as cool as two motorcycle engines bolted together, sharing a common crankshaft.


2016 Empire Hill Climb – Mikko Kataja – Toyota Starlet 4AGE16V – Overall 1st and new record 21.222s