The 200kW Toyota GR Yaris hot hatch will be with us next year

30 November 2020 - 18:13 By Motoring Reporter
The GR Yaris is the hot hatch Toyota fans have long been waiting for.
The GR Yaris is the hot hatch Toyota fans have long been waiting for.
Image: Supplied

Toyota SA on Monday announced that it's planning on launching its GR Yaris on local soil midway through 2021. The company's first homologation model for WRC competition since the Celica GT-FOUR ended production in 1999, the GR Yaris is a purpose built hot hatchback that comes bolted to a 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine delivering 200kW and 370Nm worth of torque. Toyota claims that these figures will see it sprint from 0-100km/h in a mere 5.2 seconds and reach a maximum speed of 230km/h.

This lightweight, high-output motor is mated to a six-speed manual transmission that features rev-matching on both up and down shifts. It sends power to all four wheels via Toyota's GR-FOUR all-wheel-drive system that features three driver-selectable modes: Normal (directing 40% of available torque to the rear wheels), Track (50% to the rear wheels) and Sport (70% to the rear wheels). The system also adjusts torque split automatically based on driver inputs, vehicle behaviour and road or track conditions.

The GR Yaris features a Toyota-first carbon-fibre roof and aluminium panels for the bonnet, doors and tailgate.
The GR Yaris features a Toyota-first carbon-fibre roof and aluminium panels for the bonnet, doors and tailgate.
Image: Supplied

Compared to its lesser siblings the GR Yaris also benefits from an upgraded suspension system. Highlights include high-response shock absorbers, extra-rigid front MacPherson struts as well as newly developed knuckles and stiffer bushes. The rear torsion beam layout has also been replaced by a stiffer and more sophisticated multi-link system that promises much improved handling and traction — especially at higher speeds. Meanwhile, large 356mm two-piece ventilated discs with four-piston calipers provide stopping power at the front, with 297mm ventilated discs and two-piston calipers doing duty at the rear.

The cabin of the GR Yaris is similarly sporting and standout features include a small-diameter leather-wrapped steering wheel, short-throw gear shifter, aluminium pedals and premium sports front seats. The instrument binnacle is home to large speedometer and tachometer dials that sit either side of a 4.2-inch multi-information display that offers drivers an array of digital readouts including turbo pressure and gearshift indicators.

As we said before, local introduction is targeted as mid-2021. Detailed specifications, pricing and model line-up information will be released closer to the time.


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