Video: GR Yaris versus Big-Block Barina

We put the Carnage Barina against a brand-new Toyota GR Yaris in a hot-hatch showdown


Hot hatches are always a ball of fun, and the Carnage Big-Block Barina is no different. The 2.0-litre engine swap from a Holden Calibra has nearly doubled both the horsepower and the laughs, which got us thinking: how would it stack up against a modern alternative?

Our friends at MOTOR make it their day job to test all kinds of brand-new performance cars, so we asked them to come up with a worthy hot-hatch rival for the Barina and meet us out at the Haunted Hills hillclimb track for a showdown.

Senior WhichCar and MOTOR journalist Scott Newman loves a cheeky track face-off, and the car he chose was well and truly up for the fight: the Toyota GR Yaris Rallye.

The GR Yaris has been making waves all over the internet since it debuted earlier this year, and it’s not hard to see why. The three-cylinder turbo engine makes around 200kW in standard trim, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and an AWD system inspired by the GR Yaris from the World Rally Championship. All up, it makes for once awesome little package.

There is a downside to all this though – price. A GR Yaris will set you back over $50K, and if you opt for the Rallye version like Scotty Newman did, with its better Torsen LSDs and upgraded wheels and tyres, you’ll be forking out around $60K by the time you drive it off the showroom floor. Ouch!

In comparison, the big-block Barina only cost us $500 initially, and even after putting a half-’cage, racing seat and upgraded shocks and springs into it, the car still owes us less than $5000.

So, which is better value – a brand-new, precision-engineered track weapon with all the creature comforts but a hefty price tag, or a budget banger that barely has a tenth of the sophistication but produces arguably more laughs (and therefore more fun) at a fraction of the cost?

Watch the video now to see who wins!