Toyota’s Gazoo Racing division finally pulled back the curtains to unveil the GR Yaris last week. If for some reason the words “homologation special” don’t make you tingle with excitement, perhaps these videos will.
Toyota gave access to some of the best rally drivers in the last 30 years, including Toyota Gazoo Racing Team Principal (and one of the most successful WRC drivers of all time) Tommi Makinen, as well as 2019 WRC driver champion Ott Tanak.
All four rally drivers have different things to say about the GR Yaris, but they can all agree on one thing – that the GR Yaris is fun and exciting to drive. Just by reading the spec sheet, there weren’t any doubts in our minds that that’ll be the case, but there you have it – from actual rally drivers no less.
The drivers also praised the hot hatch’s GR-Four all-wheel drive system, with Kris Meeke saying that the car “feels very agile and you’re able to change direction very quickly”.
The GR-Four system comes with pre-set torque split of 60:40 (Normal), 30:70 (Sport), and 50:50 (Track), making the car able to adapt to all surfaces on the go. “It seems to have all the correct attributes which you need to make a good rally car,” Meeke added.
Tommi Makinen also gave special mention to the engine, which is the most powerful 3-cylinder engine according to Toyota. The 1.6-litre turbocharged engine generates 272 hp and 370 Nm of torque, with power sent through a six-speed manual transmission.
Zero-to-hundred km/h is done in approximately five seconds, with an estimated top speed of 225 km/h. Jari-Matti Latavala said that “basically, it needs to be a car which is fast, exciting, reliable, and easy to drive. So I can see these elements coming together in this car.”