Sebastian Pogorzelskiâ€™s suited and booted Glanza V could show the celtic tiger era show cars a trick or two. This little hybrid CT9 has the balls to match its bark.
Words: Ross Burke
Pictures: Tommie McDonnell
Back in the heady 2000s, Ireland’s economy was booming and our modified car scene reflected as much. Money was gushing through the pockets of young petrol heads all around the country, and the seemingly unending torrent of cash was matched only by the increasingly frivolous ways in which we managed to spend it. So what do you do if you’re too young to insure a performance car, but your wallet is bulging outwards in a flattering fashion? You naturally take a cue from your peers and cram an insurance-friendly hatchback with every last modification you can think of. This was the essence of Tiger-era modifying. TV screens mounted in the wings? Leather-trimmed body panels? Some could see how ridiculous the whole affair had become, but the majority soldiered on with their automotive splurging... for a while at least... Thankfully, today’s young enthusiasts are more concerned with how a car handles and stops rather than how many TV screens can fit in the boot. The zeitgeist has shifted back to basics, and that my friends is no bad thing. That brings me neatly to one of the few cars to have largely escaped the grasp of the bodykit bandits during the crazy days. Toyota’s little turbocharged terriers, the Glanza and its predecessor, the Starlet GT Turbo, have cultivated a huge following in Ireland ever since
the tidal wave of imports first hit our shores, but their reputation as the boyracers’ choice is now mirrored by the lack of clean straight examples that remain today. Many have been crashed, neglected or broken for parts, and as a result, clean ones have been holding their value in an otherwise depressed marketplace. Glanzas (and GTs in particular) are sadly becoming a rarer sight on Ireland’s roads. But thanks to enthusiasts, at least some will remain in standard condition and good fettle, preserved so that future generations can see how bargain-conscious boost junkies used to get from A to B! Some will also have been comprehensively enhanced, as is the case with the fast road-tune Glanza you see before you. Sebastian Pogorzelski’s 1998 Glanza V is a handsome little car. Its smooth bodywork and exaggerated colour scheme pay homage to the show cars of yesteryear. This machine would have held it’s own against those chequebook chariots. Nevertheless, it also personifies the priorities of postboom tuning; namely performance and handling. Clean isn’t a word that befits this car. You need to use superlatives such as immaculate, flawless or even perfect to get close. Every last square inch of this car has been modified, upgraded, detailed or enhanced to produce the wild (yet somehow classy) package before you. The most notable features on this car are the paint, the bright green wheels
and cage, and the extensive Bride interior. It all hangs together beautifully and there’s plenty to talk about. So let’s kick off with the car’s skin.
First of all, there is a skeleton hanging around in the back of Seba’s closet; something that could be perceived as an act of treason by conservative factions of the Toyota community. Well, here it is: The colour is an OEM Honda shade.... Oh, the humanity!!!
Ok, so maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, it’s only a paint code. And besides, the traditional taboo of raiding competitors’ parts bins is long gone thanks to the rising popularity of the OEM+ movement. A good example of which is the proliferation of Passats and Audi A4s riding on Merc, AMG or even Bentley rims. Getting back on point, Honda’s Root Beer is an interesting colour, and is much more sophisticated than any original Toyota options. It’s more
This motor wears its JDM influences on its sleeve, proudly and for all to see
“grown-up” than primary colours or the matt finishes which seem to be in vogue now. It has a finish that exceeds factory standards. And as an added bonus, If Seba ever decides to knock over a bank with the Glanza, eye witnesses will most likely struggle to verbalise the colour of his getaway car to the cops. The body modifications themselves are relatively tame, save for the Zep Racing rear spoiler which provides plenty of visual impact. The Zep Racing front lip meanwhile looks like original equipment. The only other noticeable mod is the unpainted OEM carbon bonnet, raised at the hinges to extract heat from the engine bay.
But long before your eyes have finished admiring the bodywork, they are drawn to the interior of the car. My initial reaction was wow... who fully trims their car’s interior anymore? Bride’s famous logo’d cloth adorns the doorcards, boot panel, seats, and even the floor mats. Overkill? Yes, but that’s the point. This motor wears its JDM influences on its sleeve, proudly and for all to see. Talking about the seats, well, they’re works of art! Sebastian originally fitted Bride replicas, but will testify to the false economy of knock off goods. He eventually stumped up the cash for the expensive Low Max driver’s seat and the half bucket for the passenger. Bride, Japan’s answer to Recaro, has always held a certain allure for Irish JDM fans. Much like Endless and JIC Magic, their product range was never officially offered here, creating a special aura around the brand. Bride seats definitely make a Japanese car “more Japanese”. The mis-matching of driver and passenger seats don’t make it any less JDM either. Occupants are strapped in tight by the Takata harnesses (another Japanese institution). These items are premium quality with a price to match. Glanzas are open to criticism when it comes to crash protection. Their featherweight chassis can’t compete with modern monocoque innovations. However the premium
seats, harnesses and chassis bracing in this car has gone some way towards negating the disadvantage, as well as looking cool. Sebastian built up the car in increments, regularly receiving packages in the post, such as a full compliment of TRD interior plastics comprising central console, window switch surround and TRD speed clock. TRD also supplied the short shifter and gearknob. The battery has been relocated to the boot, and the rear seats and interior panels have been swapped for a bright green half roll cage. Still no TV screens to be found thankfully. Up front there are a plethora of gauges monitoring the parameters of Sebastian’s engine, while from behind the tactile Momo Tuner steering wheel he can adjust boost from the Apexi FC controller on the dash.
timing belt, Samco hoses, aluminium rad, lightweight pulleys and JD Tuning Engine Torque damper. A large HDI frontmount was assigned charge cooling duties, while the ZISCO ram-style mild steel manifold, performance de-cat and -Full HKS Silent Hi Power exhaust system remove all restrictions, paving the way for a boost increase. Sebastian chose to increase the output of the CT9 rather than upgrading to a bigger turbo. Hybrids provide increased power capability while still retaining the quick spooling characteristics of the standard Toyota kit. This is the key to Seba’s tuning philosophy... useable power. With the right engine management and tuning, over 200bhp should be achievable from the CT9 hybrid setup, and in a car this anorexic, that’s enough for the public roads, believe me.
Mechanicals and drive train
The mighty 4efte needs no introduction to TOC members. Everyone knows you can get big numbers out of the little 1.3 turbo, but as anyone familiar with engine tuning knows, the more power you seek, the more compromise you will have to live with. 300bhp and well beyond is possible, but everyday life isn’t a drag race. Lag is an issue with the big power EPs, as well as a lack of traction. We are often told by the Jeremy Clarksons of this world that FWD and big horsepower don’t get along. That myth has been busted for the most part, but remember that the Glanza is a very light car. And this one has been half stripped! Much of that 300bhp would be wasted in wheelspin when the weight transfers back unless you resort to big wheels, sticky tyres and other extreme measures. Sebastian wanted a fast road car. He took a practical approach. Not blinded by predetermined power figures or a lust for pub talk ammo, he first ensured that the fundamentals such as plugs, leads, filters and fluids were all uprated before laying down a bedrock of quality parts such as Power Enterprise’s Super Kevlar II
Wrapped in Yokohama Parada Spec 2 all-round, the Ford RS green-coloured BuddyClub rims not only look the part... they’re perfectly sized to exploit the power-to-weight ratio of the car, while still maintaining nimble handling. The drive from the engine is harnessed by an uprated Exedy clutch and lightened Zep Racing flywheel. The gearbox is standard bar the quick shift linkage. Braking and handling is well taken care of with D2 racing suspension for starters. These coilovers have earned a reputation for good quality at a reasonable price. The control provided by the coillies is amplified by all the braces and bars which have found their way into the Glanza. You’ve got a Zep Racing C-pillar bar, Tein front upper strut Brace, Cusco rear strut brace and front and rear Whiteline anti roll bars. All bushings have also been replaced with TRD and Whiteline parts. In other words, this car is much tighter to drive now than it ever was when brand new. It also puts manners on those who say the EPs can’t handle. This one does! The last piece of the jigsaw is the braking system. Uprating the brakes is an often overlooked mod, worth the price for the improved performance alone, not to mention the obvious safety benefits. Out the back Sebastian
has uprated grooved disks and Mintex pads, as well as uprated brake hoses all round. Up front however Sebastian has pulled out all the stops (pardon the pun) with a four pot Wilwood big brake kit. This is an awesome piece of hardware that, combined with the
Yokohamas, bring the lightweight Glanza to a halt quickly no matter what the speed.
Sebastian Pogorzelski’s Toyota Glanza
looks like it should be on display in a concours exhibition, yet it has been designed for exactly the opposite... driving fast on the open road. This is no show queen. It’s the real deal. It may be lavishly equipped on the inside and impressively slick on the outside,
but one thing it is not: a poser mobile. All that top quality equipment is there for a reason; to enhance the driving experience. Visually, the contrast between the two main colours creates an interesting
combination. It’s difficult to be truly original without creating a divide in opinion. Original ideas do that. Sebastian’s Glanza has all the drama and pull of a full-blown show car, but unlike a show car it is abundantly fit
for purpose. And while bright green wheels will never be to everyone’s tastes, I think it’s safe to say that in 10 years time this car will have aged gracefully, unlike its plastic fantastic forefathers.
Model: 1998 Toyota Starlet Glanza V (EP91) Kouki EP91
- Color from Honda “Rootbeer” - Yellow H4 70/80W - OEM Carbon Bonnet for Glanza V - Lower fog light painted-yellow - Zep Racing Live Sports Front Lip Spoiler - Zep Racing Live Sports Rear Wing - Rear and front Tow Hooks
4E-FTE DOHC 1331 cc 4 cyl. Standard power: 133 bhp Modified power: 186.1 bhp Standard torque: 157 Nm Modified torque: 249 Nm
- Red Line 15W50 Motor Oil - Power Enterprise Oil Filters - TRD Spark Plug Leads/ ULTRA Blue Point Power Plug Cords - TRD Radiator cap - TRD Oil cap - Turbo Hybrid CT9 Turbo-2nd generation - HKS SSQV III BOV Blow Off Valve - Removed air conditioning - Sard Oil Catch Can Tank - Jd Tuning Engine Torque damper - Washers Attain Hi Trottle - Samaco Radiator Hose - HKS Circle Earth system - Purple Engine Bay Washers - Aluminum Radiator - Purple lightweight pulley set - Power enterorise Super kevlar II timing belt - Apexi air filter - Relocation car battery - Optima Yellow top battery - Cold Air Duct removed - Larger intercooler’s HDI - CT9 Hybrid Turbo-2nd generation - Apexi air filter - ZISCO Ram style mild steel manifold - Performance De-Cat - Full HKS Silent Hi Power Exhaust - Turbo Timer HKS Stage 0 - 5 Auto Gauage indicators (oil pressure, water temp. , oil temp. Boost, EGT ) - Apexi AVC-R - Apexi ECU + Commander
- TRD Central Console - TRD Panel Switch Doors - TRD Speed Clock - TRD shift knob - Zep Racing C-pillar bar - Cusco Rear Upper Strut Bar - Full Bucket seat Bride Low Max (driver side) - Half Bucket seat Bride Low Max (passenger side) - 4-point belts Takata - 4-point belts Takata passenger - Half Rollcage - Bride doorcards - Bride floor mats - OKUYAMA Carbing Pedal - Pivot Start button - 2 Racing switch
- BuddyClub 15x7 35mm offset - Tires Yokohama Parada Spec 2 195/50 R15 - Racing Composite Neo-chrom Wheel Nuts
Other: Transmission: - Zep Racing Flywheel - ACT Clutch Stage 6
- D2 Racing - Zep Racing C-pillar bar - Tein Front Upper Strut Bar - Cusco Rear Upper Strut Bar
- All bushings has been change - TRD and WHITELINE - Front and rear WHITELINE Anti roll bar
- Grooved brake discs front and rear - Wilwood front brake - Mintex rear brake pads - Goodridge Brake Lines
- Electric mirrors - Central locking - Clifford alarm with Immobillaserem - Electric windows - Electric sunroof