Of all Toyota’s recent drops, the GR Yaris has most excited the enthusiast community in recent years. It’s perhaps not a car any of us expected Toyota to build, but it nonetheless has connected with fans in a way that the new Supra has struggled to match. The good news is that I will be behind the wheel of one this week, and to say I can’t wait is an understatement. Now I wonder—what do you want to know about the GR Yaris?
We’re lucky to get the hot hatch down here in Australia, with Toyota neglecting to sell the feisty Yaris in the USA. Specifically, I’ll be driving the GR Yaris Rallye, the top-spec model which features several upgrades over the base GR Yaris. The Rallye gets front and rear limited slip differentials and “circuit-tuned” suspension for improved handling. There’s also 18-inch forged BBS wheels at each corner, wrapped in sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. Other nice touches include red brake calipers, big front brake ducts, and some other minor touches.
Under the hood, it packs the same 1.6-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder engine as the standard GR Yaris, good for a healthy 268 horsepower. Drive is sent to the all-wheel-drive system via a six-speed manual gearbox. As a further buff to its performance credentials, the GR Yaris Rallye weighs just 2822 pounds, which helps it along to a 0-60mph time under five and a half seconds. The combination of a healthy power figure and a light weight chassis tends to produce what driving enthusiasts call “a good time.”
You might ask why we’d review a car that’s not coming to the United States, at least for another 25 years or so. I can provide two reasons for that right off the bat. One, it’s a really cool car—a turbocharged, all-wheel-drive hatch born and bred for rally competition. We’d be neglecting our very raison d’etre if we didn’t get you the low down on such a vehicle. Two, Toyota has hinted that a hot Corolla could be on the cards, or perhaps a sporty crossover. It’s likely that any such model could share a powertrain or other parts with the GR Yaris. Sampling the best output from Gazoo Racing now provides a strong basis for predicting what might come out in the future.
I won’t be able to take the car to a track, and with a pending lockdown in the local area, my driving experience may be a little more limited than I’d otherwise like. Being a hot hatch, it’s as important to know how it drives day to day as much as how it performs in the corners on a winding country road. I’ll be sure to get as much driving in as I can given the circumstances. Of course, if my city does go full Mad Max, having a powerful rally-tuned hatch on hand could be just the ticket to surviving in the ensuing days to come. I’ll dispatch my review via telegram or radio link if the situation degenerates thusly.
As per standard operating procedures at The Drive, we’ll choose five to ten of the best questions to specifically tackle in our final review piece. Be sure to check out the review when it drops to find the answers to your tantalizing queries.
In the meantime, I’ll be chillaxin’ in the comments here for the next half hour, so hit me up with your hottest takes and most burning queries.
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