Toyota was always going to ‘cash in’ on their involvement in the World Rally Championship, and today, they officially unveiled the road car that embodies the learnings and spirit that took them to success in the WRC – the GR Yaris.
“The GR Yaris was developed to be a car that responds to driver demand on all types of roads worldwide,” says the official press release. This isn’t a low-volume homologation special of yesteryears as the modern regulations are more accommodating to racing upgrades on WRC rally cars.
Instead, you can look at the GR Yaris as a high-performance halo model, like what the Civic Type R is to Honda, but in the form of a hot hatch, developed entirely in house, unlike the GR Supra.
Most of the GR Yaris’ technical specifications were revealed in December, but it’s well worth going through its bespoke hardware again. Underpinning that blistered and hunkered down three-door body is the new TNGA platform for B-segment models, but made stiffer, lighter and with suspension geometry specified for the GR Yaris front strut and rear double-wishbone set up. The door panels, bonnet, trunk lid of the GR Yaris are made of aluminium, while the lowered roof is carbon fibre.
Power is derived from a 1,618 cc turbocharged three-cylinder engine; Toyota claims the G16E-GTS motor is the world most powerful 3-pot with an output of 272 hp and 370 Nm, we don’t doubt that.
All that grunt is then channelled through a six-speed manual transmission and distributed to all four wheels via a GR-Four Torsen-type all-wheel drive system, with pre-set torque split options of 60:40 (Normal), 30:70 (Sport) and 50:50 (Track) available to the driver.
Based on reports by the European media which tested the GR Yaris prototype last month, this 1,280 kg pocket rocket is capable of a 0-100km/h time of around 5.0 seconds and an estimated top speed of 225 km/h.
The price of the GR Yaris starts from 3.94 million yen, which is just slightly more than a well-kitted Toyota 86 GR Sports variant in Japan prices, so this isn’t going to be a bargain hot hatch, so we could be looking at the price zone between RM250k to RM300k, after duties.
If UMW Malaysia took the trouble to bring in the GR Supra from Europe, one would imagine that sourcing some right-hand drive GR Yaris-es from Toyota’s Motomachi plant would be more straightforward, so there are legitimate grounds to be optimistic. But do you want one?
Toyota GR Yaris gallery