Let’s just take a moment to rejoice here. Toyota now have three defined sporting models in production with the GT86, Supra, and now the GR Yaris. Not since we had the previous Supra, MR2, and Celica GT-Four have we had it this good from Toyota. There’s actually a synergy with the previous model line up: a super sports car, a smaller and cheaper coupe, and a car designed to take on WRC.
The GR Yaris is an actual homologation special: a 1618cc turbocharged three-cylinder engine producing 257bhp and 266lb ft of torque, all-wheel drive, six-speed manual transmission, optional limited slip differentials front and rear (that Australia doesn’t get according to Car Advice), weighing in at 1280kg thanks to a carbon fibre roof skin, aluminium doors, bonnet and boot lid
There are three driving modes—Normal, Sport and Track—dividing the torque split 60:40, 30:70 or 50:50.
With a 0-62mph time of 5.5sec it undercuts the Honda Civic Type R and would surely make a few older generation Porsche’s feel a little silly.
The first thing you notice about the GR Yaris is how different it is visually from the standard Yaris. It’s wider by a huge margin, 91mm lower, and a whole lot more aggressive.
What car does the Toyota GR Yaris compete with? That depends on price but from the spec it’s really a unique proposition in the market. It won’t have the all round ability of a Civic Type R and is miles away from even Golf GTI levels of sophistication. It will run rings around a GT86, and may even trouble it’s big brother the Supra on tight and twisty roads. The closest comparison would be the mega expensive but extremely focused and capable Renault Megane RS Trophy-R but that’s a limited production of 500 models.
Toyota are reportedly building 25,000 hot hatches as required to meet homologation criteria. That’s quite a few. Will that have an affect on prices? Hopefully we’ll see them come in at nothing higher than Golf R prices, or even better, Golf GTI prices.