Toyota seems to have gone Formula One crazy! The Japanese manufacturer is planning performance-enhancing engine tuning kits for its Corolla and MR2 models.

Toyota seems to have gone Formula One crazy! The Japanese manufacturer is planning performance-enhancing engine tuning kits for its Corolla and MR2 models.

Developed by Toyota Motorsport in Germany, the engine kits are the first stage of a plan to eventually offer completely built-up cars, according to Toyota Motorsport's general manager, Egon Pixken.

The kits will be offered along with suspension upgrades and body kits to complement the sporty performance.

Among the kits going on sale is a supercharger for the 1,8-litre Corolla. Power is bumped up from 143kW to 170kW at 7 800r/min and torque increases from 180N.m to 249N.m at 3 900r/min.

'The increase in torque at lower revs makes it a much more relaxed car to drive quickly,' says Toyota Motorsport development engineer Gerald Bonengel. 'The standard engine's torque doesn't arrive until 6 800r/min so you have to work it fairly hard.'

Retaining the standard six-speed manual gearbox, the increase in output has improved the Corolla's zero to 100km/h time to 6.9sec and the top speed has risen to 240km/h.

Also planned is a kit for the MR2's 1,8-litre four-cylinder engine. Using a turbocharger and intercooler, it would lift power from a standard 104kW to 145kW.

A Toyota SA spokesperson said that there are no immediate plans to make these types of tuning kits available in South Africa. And while it would be possible, they would have to be tested by the Toyota engineers first to evaluate their viability.