The Toyota Vios might come across to the majority as a practical mode of transport with fuss-free ownership prospects. Indeed, judging by the sheer number of Vios roaming our local streets, it has proven to be a default choice for families here.
So why do we champion a cheap family car as one of the darlings of the tuning industry? First, it was affordable. Secondly, it had very decent performance which brings us to its big trump card: its low weight. Now try to think of another car in the recent years that could bring all of that together? If you ask us, it’s the four door family-friendly successor of past tuning legends, the light, fast and incredibly addictive Civic EG.
Once you get past the stigma of sedans-are-boring, the stock Vios comes with a look that does not raise suspicion. Tuning companies soon realized that the best selling car in South East Asia is a huge market (and arguably, continues to be one of the better selling budget sedans today). Really, there is no aspect of the Vios you can’t modify at all.
Curing the Vios soft, family oriented ride was one of the focus areas to get this ride to be competitive. A stiff, racy ride quality thanks to the XYZ coilovers with a revised spring rate and strut bars which give the car exceptional road feel without being completely crashy over bumps on the road.
The engine breathes better with a custom made intake manifold with an enlarged throttle body for extra flow. Other mods to the intake include a simple-as-you-like drop in filter, but it’s the exhaust where things get interesting, there is nothing like going wild with aplomb with the “best” LTA approved muffler you can buy.
With some tuning, getting away from haters was quickler, over the drone of a four pot though the unnecessarily large exhaust. We like. Even at idle, the bassy note is highly addictive, it remains so throughout the rev range, announcing its arrival at the top end with a loud BAAWW.
Personalizing this ride, is a nicely-weighted gear knob. Braking was pretty strong too, even with the stock calipers, thanks to the Dixcel brake pads which do bite with gusto.
At least it isn’t going overboard, while most of the interior is in the dull grey, the interior has been spruced up with soft toys around the cabin, with several propped against the gauges. Defi’s Clubsport package serves the crucial roles of providing additional values which the stock instrument cluster can’t provide, such as the coolant and oil temperature and pressure!
Like any project car, the build process is never really done. Even though it feels fast, the car is still in a constant tuning stage – to max out the current components before the planned upgrade of larger injectors and a piggy back computer..
Right off the factory, the Vios might not be the most potent vehicle, but with a couple of sensible enhancements, it could very well transform to one that delivers more performance than expected in its segment. This is testament to the fact that mainstream cars can be reworked for stunning looks and performance!
HKS silent exhaust
K&N drop in air filter
K&N breather filter
Custom intake manifold with 90mm throttle body
China made cold air intake pipe
Rear ultra racing strut bar
TRW slotted front disc rotor
Nbrake front high temp front brake pads
HEL steel braided brake hose
Custom coloured ultra racing front 4 point strut bar by (7 angelz)
Blox weighted gear knob
Defi ZD gauge club sport package
Custom wrap and racing decals