The fruitful strategic alliance between Toyota and Maruti Suzuki has yielded remarkable results for both brands, not only in the domestic Indian market but also in international business endeavors. A prime illustration of this collaboration is the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, rebadged as the Starlet and successfully marketed in South Africa. Now, taking a bold step, Toyota has introduced a race-spec version of this Starlet – the Toyota SupaStarlet.
Toyota SupaStarlet Details
In various global markets, including South Africa, Toyota markets the rebadged Maruti Suzuki Baleno as the Starlet. The Toyota SupaStarlet, an upgraded and race-ready iteration, is a testament to the Gazoo Racing (GR) Division’s expertise. Although based on the standard Starlet premium hatchback, the SupaStarlet undergoes significant modifications to enhance its racing capabilities.
While the foundational vehicle remains a stock Starlet, Gazoo Racing has undertaken extensive revisions to render it suitable for racing. Notable exterior modifications include a redesigned front bumper with an aggressive lip seamlessly integrated with side skirts, along with prominent flared wheel arches. The imposing rear spoiler serves as a distinctive racing element, adorned with multiple stickers and racing insignia, signaling its transformation from a regular Starlet to a race-ready machine.
Though Toyota has not officially disclosed mechanical upgrades, discernible features include race-spec wheels with a center lock, potentially forged for reduced unsprung mass. The car sports fixed windows with openable cutouts for ventilation, a substantial roll cage, and stripped-down interiors featuring bucket seats, multi-point racing harness, and other racing-centric attributes.
Rear disc brakes are introduced to enhance braking performance, a crucial requirement for heightened performance.
The SupaStarlet retains the stock Starlet’s 1.5L 4-cylinder petrol engine, but it undergoes modifications to significantly boost power, possibly incorporating turbocharging or supercharging.
A race-spec dog box (sturdy sequential manual gearbox) could also be part of the package, contributing to the overall racing prowess. It’s worth noting that the Indian-spec Glanza and Maruti Suzuki Baleno are equipped with a 1.2L 4-cylinder engine.
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