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Most reliable CVT ever? All-new AC100 2023 Toyota Vios held up to 25 hours of endurance racing

Sanjay · Mar 18, 2023 10:00 AM

Most reliable CVT ever? All-new AC100 2023 Toyota Vios held up to 25 hours of endurance racing 01

Photo credit: Super Turbo Thailand

Putting an automatic car on the racetrack sounds controversial enough, but say it has a CVT and things get rather heated. Cooling down is recommended.

Most reliable CVT ever? All-new AC100 2023 Toyota Vios held up to 25 hours of endurance racing 02

TGR Team Thailand and their fleet

Most reliable CVT ever? All-new AC100 2023 Toyota Vios held up to 25 hours of endurance racing 03

But this CVT didn't need any of that. Enter team Toyota Gazoo Racing Motorsport Thailand's 2023 AC100 Toyota Vios (sold as the Yaris Ativ there), which completed the 2022 Idemitsu 25-Hour Super Endurance Race last December with nary a tow truck in sight.

Also read: To continue his teacher's dream, Akio Toyoda is racing in Thailand to show 5 solutions are better than 1

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Most reliable CVT ever? All-new AC100 2023 Toyota Vios held up to 25 hours of endurance racing 01

Photo credit: Super Turbo Thailand

Racing in Division 5 – a class populated with rivals like the Honda Jazz, Honda City, Honda Brio, Suzuki Swift, and older Vios – it did pretty well to finish 7th in its category. Overall, car #515 placed number 30 on the grid.

Most reliable CVT ever? All-new AC100 2023 Toyota Vios held up to 25 hours of endurance racing 02

Frame it in the context of endurance, and that's where this little Vios that could really impresses. It circled Chang International Circuit for 595 laps, roughly equivalent to 2,975 km (one lap is 5 km), with an elapsed time of 25 hours, 2 minutes and 11 seconds.

Also read: EV is not the only future as Toyota showcased multiple pathway efforts towards carbon neutrality

Most reliable CVT ever? All-new AC100 2023 Toyota Vios held up to 25 hours of endurance racing 03

Most reliable CVT ever? All-new AC100 2023 Toyota Vios held up to 25 hours of endurance racing 04

Photo credit top to bottom: Super Turbo Thailand

With an average speed of 108 km/h, the sedan was notably slightly faster than several burlier competitors: such as Honda CR-Zs and Civics, as well its own more powerful stablemate, the Corolla Altis.

Most reliable CVT ever? All-new AC100 2023 Toyota Vios held up to 25 hours of endurance racing 05

Remember, this is a car that's damn near plucked off the showroom, given a fancy paintjob and sent to the track. It's even got a full interior! Devoid of some trim and passenger seats yes, but the air-cond panel is still on, the dashboard is intact, and the headunit is in place too.

Also read: This humble 6MT hydrogen-burning Toyota Corolla Cross may be enthusiasts' saving grace, here's why

Most reliable CVT ever? All-new AC100 2023 Toyota Vios held up to 25 hours of endurance racing 06

Most reliable CVT ever? All-new AC100 2023 Toyota Vios held up to 25 hours of endurance racing 07

We weren't made privy to its specifications, though typically the Vios/Yaris Ativ used in their one-make races are quite close to stock, save for minimal suspension, tyre, brake, and exhaust upgrades.

Most reliable CVT ever? All-new AC100 2023 Toyota Vios held up to 25 hours of endurance racing 08

Assuming no wrenching has been done under the hood, this Vios outputs 94 PS and 110 Nm from its 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated engine, but given its performance we won't put it past that it has been fettled with a bit. However note that that's a Thailand-specific mill; built to satisfy their stringent EcoCar regulations.

Most reliable CVT ever? All-new AC100 2023 Toyota Vios held up to 25 hours of endurance racing 09

Ours will net a more powerful 106 PS/138 Nm 1.5-litre, as has always been the story. It will launch here on 20-March 2023.

Also read: Not a traditional B-Sedan, UMWT teases AC100 2023 Toyota Vios' fastback-like styling

Most reliable CVT ever? All-new AC100 2023 Toyota Vios held up to 25 hours of endurance racing 10

Most reliable CVT ever? All-new AC100 2023 Toyota Vios held up to 25 hours of endurance racing 11

One more thing, car #519 was quite literally the rose among the thorns: all 6 drivers piloting the Vios that weekend were women; themselves participants of TGR Thailand's Yaris Lady One Make Race series.

Most reliable CVT ever? All-new AC100 2023 Toyota Vios held up to 25 hours of endurance racing 12

Most reliable CVT ever? All-new AC100 2023 Toyota Vios held up to 25 hours of endurance racing 13

Though it may seem slightly pointless to field an almost-pedestrian Vios to swap paint with purpose-built racers, sometimes the goal isn't just winning.

Also read: This Toyota GR Corolla is the world's first liquid hydrogen race car; faster refueling, longer range

Most reliable CVT ever? All-new AC100 2023 Toyota Vios held up to 25 hours of endurance racing 14

Photo credit: Super Turbo Thailand

Toyota believes racing brings certain challenges and data that help the development of their everyday cars, hence this build-and-break mentality that they extend to their hydrogen GR Corolla and synthetic fuel GR86.

Most reliable CVT ever? All-new AC100 2023 Toyota Vios held up to 25 hours of endurance racing 15

So now you know a bit of the development that goes behind arguably the most widely-used CVT in our part of the world. Genting? Won't even begin to break its sweat.

Also read: Exclusive: Toyota's new President, Koji Sato speaks to us on the future of racing, carbon neutrality, and more

Sanjay

Senior Writer

With humble beginnings collecting diecast models and spending hours virtually tuning dream cars on the computer, his love of cars has delightfully transformed into a career. Sanjay enjoys how the same passion for cars transcends boundaries and brings people together.

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