The Toyota GR Yaris is a subcompact hatchback belonging to the hot hatch or sports compact category. It is developed by Japanese carmaker Toyota and the company’s Gazoo Racing division as a homologation car for an all-out rally-spec model for the World Rally Championship. The GR Yaris was revealed for the first time in 2020, marginally based on the XP210-series Yaris, and it is a totally different machine from the XP150 Yaris/Vios.
The XP210 Yaris was initially introduced in 2019 via a simultaneous launch event in Japan and the Netherlands, eventually going on sale in Japan in 2020. The performance-oriented GR Yaris was then unveiled in the 2020 Tokyo Auto Salon, and has already been available in several markets including the UK. Recently, Toyota Motor Philippines announced that the GR Yaris will also be sold locally starting August 14, 2021.
As a sporty model, the GR Yaris sports functional design elements. The large grille is meant to provide optimal cooling, and the car also gets a carbon fiber roof to ensure a lower center of gravity. It also comes standard with a set of 18-inch BBS forged alloy wheels, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. For visibility, it comes standard with a pair of 3-tier LED headlamps, LED taillights, and front foglamps.
On paper, the GR Yaris can fit up to five occupants. The front seats are clad in a combination of leather and suede, whereas the rear seats are covered in leather. As expected, the front seats of the car get a lot of bolstering.
To keep its occupants cool, the model also comes standard with an automatic climate control system. The driver also has access to a hand-operated parking brake, tilt-and-telescopic multi-function steering, and a leather-wrapped gear shift lever.
Technology and Safety Features
Dominating the dash is a touchscreen head unit with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. In terms of safety, the model also comes with standard features you’d expect on many roadgoing cars. It has anti-lock braking with electronic brake-force distribution, six airbags, stability control, traction control, hill-start assist, among others.
In addition, the GR Yaris also comes with the Toyota Safety Sense driver-assist suite. This kit includes automatic high beams, lane trace assist, and a pre-collision collision system.
Platform and Chassis
As mentioned, the GR Yaris is based on the XP210 series Yaris that’s available in other markets. To be more specific however, this hot hatch uses a modified version of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. The front half of the car uses the TNGA GA-B, while the rear comprises the TNGA GA-C. This spliced TNGA chassis was decided upon by Toyota and Gazoo Racing, in order to accommodate the GR-Four 4WD system.
Suspension-wise, it also differs from the regular XP210 Yaris in that the GR Yaris has a beefier double wishbone suspension layout. The latter is also much lighter due to its aluminum hood, trunk lid, and door panels. And lastly, it also has a front and rear torsen limited-slip differential.
Under the hood of the GR Yaris is a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-3 DOHC gasoline engine, capable of up to 257 horsepower and 360 Nm of torque. It is paired with a six-speed intelligent manual transmission, which sends power to all of its wheels via the GR-Four 4WD system.