Toyota GR Yaris – A properly mad car

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Well, people. The wait is finally over, and oh boy was it worth it. The GR Yaris was supposed to be unveiled in December during the rally Australia, but because of the gut wrenching fires the reveal was postponed. Respect.

Firstly, what is the GR Yaris? Based on the new upcoming Yaris, the GR, or Gazoo Racing, is Toyotas sportier and racier cars. Saying that the GR is a successor to the old Yaris GRMN is a bit difficult though. The two cars might be based on a Yaris, but the old GRMN was more of a showcase of what Gazoo racing could do, as well as getting valuable information regarding what limitations there is with a small car. The new model, could be view as the first true GR model, apart from the Supra, an that’s a whole other story. See it as Toyotas version of M, RS or AMG. I actually quite like the name. Easy to pronounce and rather unique.

Built closely with the Rally version of the Yaris, the GR has huge, square wheel arches, needed in order to fit 18 inch forged alloy wheels, that sets the car apart from any other hot hatch on the road. However, it is a double edged sword. The front, with the massively low hanging, rectangle shaped grille, looks absolutely menacing, even in white. The rear, in comparison looks as unassuming as a Volvo in Sweden. Two small and decent sized exhaust, they are actually quite small compared to some of the competitors, covers the lower part of the rear. Interestingly enough, the rear body panels end quite high, which gives the car sort of a stanced look.

The new, more grown up, Yaris look fits nicely with the more aggressive GR look, much thanks to the 3 door layout, and the fact that the car sits 91 mm lower compared to the original Yaris. However, it is in the details that you see that this car is very, very serious. Apart from the already big alloy wheels, the brakes underneath are 356 mm and four pistons at the front. Add the circuit pack and you get Torsen limited slip differential both front and rear, tuned suspension and the previously mentioned wheels. The suspension is completely revamped with double wishbone with mcpherson strut in the front. Toyotas engineers actually combined two different car platforms, basically “cutting the car in half”. The front is the new Yaris but the rear is the GA-C platform found in the new Corolla.

Inside, the GR gets the usual sporty treatment. More grabby seats with alcantara and red stitching, the steering wheel from the GT86 and a manual gear lever. The car will only be available with a manual. As the car is a 3 door, the rear passenger space is limited, and could be completely impossible to use with the rumored bolt on roll cage.

The car is powered by a 3 cylinder turbo charged engine which from the videos available on the internet sounds like a low revving 6 cylinder. 260 hp and 360 Nm of torque. It might sound a lot for a small Yaris that have a curb weight of 1280 kg, but with 4 wheel drive, 0-100 km/h is done in 5.5 seconds.

More about the 4 wheel drive, because it is magical. With the possibility of sending 100 % of the power to the real wheels, the system is one of the most adaptable there is. Further, depending on which mode the split between front and rear is different. In normal mode, the system is biased towards the front with a 60:40 distribution. Sport gives more rear biased with 30:70, where Toyota speaks of a true sporty and fun sports setting. Track mode gives you 50:50.

The specs of the Yaris GR shows that it is a true weapon. If Toyota were going to build a sport version of the Yaris, they needed to go all out, and they have. Price is not revealed yet, but with every single part of the car being changed, it could very possibly be around €40 000.   

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