Weekly Treasure: 1996 Toyota Glanza V

For Sale / Comments

Live out your Gran Turismo videogame fantasies.

If we're lucky, a Toyota Corolla hot hatchback will be coming to the US in the near future. Nothing is official just yet but Toyota is aware of the demand. Question is, is demand high enough? For now, the most affordable performance Toyota on sale is the new GR 86. The GR Yaris is overseas-only forbidden fruit. The automaker certainly knows how to build a hot hatch; the GR Yaris comes from fine pedigree, such as the Glanza V.

Built from 1996 to 1999, the Glanza V shared its chassis with the Toyota Starlet hatchback (90 Series) that was made during the same period. But the Glanza V had a specific purpose: to be the sporty model. This little pocket rocket delivered the goods. Under its hood is a turbocharged version of the inline-four 4E-FTE engine, specifically a 1.3-liter unit rated at 138 horsepower.

JDM Sport Classics
JDM Sport Classics
JDM Sport Classics

That may not sound like a whole lot but the Glanza V's low curb weight of around 1,980 pounds allows for a solid power-to-weight ratio. During its time, the Glanza V achieved the best power performance in its class. Zero to 62 mph takes just 8.2 seconds. It also looks pretty damn sweet thanks to its hood scoop, black metallic paint, body kit, and special wheels. And if it weren't for the Gran Turismo videogame, the Glanza V might have been lost to history. A new generation of enthusiasts may never have known about it. Presently, there are very few of these three-door hatches roaming around in the US because the 25-year import ban has just ended.

And now you can be one of the first to own one if you buy this 1996 Glanza V currently up for grabs at JDM Sport Classics in Michigan.

JDM Sport Classics
JDM Sport Classics
JDM Sport Classics
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A total of 87,233 verified miles are on the odometer and it appears to be in excellent shape inside and out. It's nearly entirely stock with the exception of one thing, aftermarket PIAA alloy wheels. The five-speed manual transmission routes power to the front wheels only. The dealer says it's "butter smooth." The inline-four also has zero issues. What also makes the Glanza V special is the fact it was sold only in Japan.

Chances are you won't find a better bone stock example (again, exception of the wheels) in the US right now. It caught the attention of Japanese aftermarket tuners so even in its home country unmodified examples may be hard to come by. The asking price is only $13,450 and comes with all import documents.

JDM Sport Classics
JDM Sport Classics
JDM Sport Classics

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