No stone has been left unturned in transforming the Toyota GR Yaris from a humble city car to a turbocharged, all-wheel drive rally car for the road.
Scheduled to land in Australia in Q4 2020, the GR Yaris will occupy a unique segment of the market, its size putting it in line with the likes of the Ford Fiesta ST, Renault Sport Clio RS200 and VW Polo GTI but with far greater power and performance.
Will it come with a price tag to match? Time will tell, as Toyota Australia is keeping tight-lipped on cost, Vice President of Sales and Marketing Sean Hanley stating only “We understand that the car's got to be attainable.”
The hot Yaris will be the second Gazoo Racing product to be made available in Australia but, unlike the Supra, will not be limited in production. “This won't be a car that will be short of supply in Australia,” says Hanley.
Powering the GR Yaris is a bespoke 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder. Final power and torque figures are yet to be confirmed, but Toyota claims it will produce more than 185kW/350Nm.
The engine uses a ball-bearing turbo for improved response and direct and port injection, with the redline set at 7000rpm. A six-speed manual is the only available gearbox, with 0-100km/h expected to take less than six seconds.
All-wheel drive is standard, the Yaris using an electro-mechanically controlled clutch pack to distribute drive between the front and rear axles. Drive is nominally split 60:40 (front:rear) in Normal, 30:70 in Sport and 50:50 in Track, but 100 per cent of drive can be sent front or rear depending on the circumstances.
Wheels are 18s shod in 225/40 Dunlop SP Sport Maxx 050 tyres, while the front brakes are claimed to be larger than those on the Supra (so at least 348mm). Toyota won't yet provide exact rotor sizes, but there are four-piston calipers at the front and two-pistons at the rear.
The bodyshell is three-door, the only Yaris to be configured thus, with the roofline dropped 95mm, both measures aimed at providing a stiffer, more aerodynamic base for Toyota’s next World Rally Car. The roof is carbon fibre and the doors, bonnet and hatch are aluminium.
A Performance Pack is available overseas, consisting of Torsen limited-slip differentials front and rear, Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres in place of the regular Dunlops and revised damper settings to match, but Toyota Australia has no plans to offer it locally.
You can read our prototype review of the Toyota GR Yaris here and we'll bring you further news regarding pricing and local specification closer to its Australian launch.
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