Toyota has recently unveiled the SupaStarlet in South Africa, which is basically the race-spec Glanza made to participate in a new Supacup series in Africa. This is not the first time the brand has rebadged a hatch, all thanks to the strategic partnership between Toyota and Maruti Suzuki which turned out to be quite successful.
Let me clarify the relation between the cars in brief here since there are too many names, so you won’t get confused later. The Glanza is the rebadged Baleno and the Starlet is the rebadged Glanza/Baleno.
Toyota SupaStarlet – Glanza goes racing
Coming back to our star vehicle, the SupaStarlet is simply superior to the Starlet, the one that is currently being sold in many markets as a rebadged Baleno. The SupaStarlet is rather a performance-oriented machine, which is made to compete, not to stop at red lights.
And it’s all thanks to Toyota’s GR Division (Gazoo Racing) that took the Premium Starlet and made it into something stunning and powerful. That’s right, no matter how powerful it is, it is still a stock starlet under all the wraps and race mods. But that doesn’t make the racecar less special.
Fun fact – The Toyota Glanza/Suzuki Baleno-based Starlet was previously also rebadged as a rally-spec machine that competed in the 2022 South African National Rally Championship (Class NRC1) and secured second position.
Toyota SupaStarlet looks and feels as aggressive as a Boxer
Gazoo Racing worked their magic quite well here to make it blaze through opponents. Starting from the design, we can have an all-new front bumper along with some aerodynamic mods in the side skirts.
The car also gets flared wheel arches, which are the most distinctive element of the car. But what really screams racing is the big rear spoiler and multiple stickers, associated with racing on the body of the hatch, which indicates that this rebadged Starlet is indeed Super.
Although Toyota has not revealed any mechanical upgrades, some changes have been spotted which include the race-oriented wheels with a centre lock, fixed windows with cutouts for ventilation, stripped interiors and the massive roll cage to ensure maximum safety in case the car gets into an accident. The racing hatch also gets the rear disc brake for increased stopping performance.
That being said, the SupaStarlet is also expected to sport some additional features such as a multi-point racing harness, bucket seats and other racing-related elements. Interestingly, the SupaStarlet will be using the same 1.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine, except this motor will make a lot more power, possibly a supercharged or turbocharged unit. So this hatchback not only looks as aggressive as a boxer, it’s powerful too.
In India, Toyota launched the facelifted Glanza in March 2022 and comes in 4 variants. In terms of powertrain, the hatch gets a 1.2-litre NA petrol and a CNG unit. The car gets features like ABS with EBD, 6 airbags, 360-degree camera, Hill hold assist and Vehicle Stability Control. It rivals the likes of Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai i20 and Tata Altroz.