The Toyota GR Yaris is an angry little thing. Built as a homologation special to allow Toyota to go rallying, its degree of change when compared with a regular Yaris is enormous: bespoke 1.6-litre three cylinder turbo engine with 200kW/370Nm, unique body panels made of aluminium and carbon and a four-wheel-drive system that can alter how much drive it sends to either axle depending on which drive mode you’re in.
All of this makes the GR feel feisty, four-square, and considerably more potent in a straight line. Officially Toyota claims it’ll hit 0-100km/h in 5.2sec and recently our mates at MOTOR magazine achieved exactly that. MOTOR ran the GR at Winton Raceway and in the dry it clocked a 5.2sec run to 100km/h. The quarter mile was finished with in 13.2sec at 169km/h.
We had similar plans to run our own numbers on the GR during Wheels Car of the Year testing (stand by, our COTY results will be revealed in March 2021) but Mother Nature had other ideas. It was raining, hard, during the time we’d allocated to performance testing but rather than give the game away, we decided to run the figures anyway. The GR is, after all, about as close as you can get to a WRC car for the road so it should be able to handle all conditions.
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Intrigued by the four-wheel-drive system’s ability to alter its torque split, we completed a single run in each of the three drive modes: Normal, Sport and Track. We had the traction and stability systems all the way off and found the quickest method of launching the car was to build the revs almost to redline before letting out the clutch. As for the surface itself, we used a closed road that forms part of the Australian Automotive Research Centre in Victoria.
So how quick was it? And which drive mode delivered the best time? You’ll need to watch to find out!