Say hello to the world’s most powerful three-cylinder hot hatch, the absolutely epic 192kW, all-wheel-drive GR Yaris.
Toyota Australia Vice President Sales and Marketing Sean Hanley said the GR Yaris is the latest in Toyota’s rich heritage of sports cars that include the Toyota 800, 2000GT, Celica, Supra, Corolla AE86, MR2 and 86.
“The GR Yaris is an exciting well-rounded vehicle that exemplifies Toyota’s commitment to producing ever-better cars, offering compelling performance that will appeal to a broad range of enthusiasts,” Mr Hanley said.
“It is a rally car for the road that pushes vehicle performance to the limit and will enhance the image of the Toyota and Yaris brands,” he said.
Presenting the GR Yaris at the 2020 Tokyo Auto Salon, GAZOO Racing President Shigeki Tomoyama said TGR is committed to using motorsport to refine its know-how and its personnel, with the aim of launching world-class production sports cars.
“While the new GR Supra is a sports car developed through track racing, the GR Yaris has been devised through our participation in rallies – something that many of our fans have been waiting for,” Mr Tomoyama said.
GR Yaris is the second pure sports-car model to be launched globally by TGR, following last year’s return of the legendary Toyota GR Supra.
Every aspect of the GR Yaris is focused on delivering exhilarating performance and with one of the highest power to weight ratios of most hot hatches on the road today, it is bred for competition success. These aspects include an all new platform, new engine, lightweight construction, aerodynamic styling and a new GR-FOUR permanent all-wheel drive (AWD) system.
Toyota enlisted the help of the WRC-skilled team of engineers at Tommi Mäkinen Racing to perfect the aerodynamics, weight distribution and light weight of the new GR Yaris. A lower roofline (91mm lower than the regular Yaris) improved the car’s ability to cut through the air, while positioning the new 1.6 turbo engine further back towards the centre of the car and locating the battery in the boot helped produce a better chassis balance for improved handling, stability and responsiveness. The body shell is made from lightweight materials including carbon-fibre polymer (for the roof) and aluminium (for the bonnet, doors and tailgate), which help deliver an impressive power-to-weight ratio of only 6.7kg per kilowatt, capable of delivering 0-100 km/h acceleration in less than 5.5 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 230 km/h. Helping stop the hot hatch is the performance braking system which features large 356 mm grooved front discs with four-pot callipers that have been specifically engineered engineered to cope with rigorous demands of high-speed track racing and special stage driving with high-level heat capacity.
Under the rear you will notice a wider rear track and new double-wishbone rear suspension system. The team also devised reinforcements beneath the side members, ensuring the suspension’s performance potential can be properly realised in real world driving.
Powering the new GR Yaris is an all-new, 1.6-litre three-cylinder turbocharged unit that produces a maximum 192kW and 360Nm of torque. It also features multi-oil jet piston cooling, large-diameter exhaust valves and a part-machined intake port. The turbocharger is a single-scroll ball-bearing unit and is matched to a six-speed manual transmission, which Toyota says is “engineered to accommodate high torque levels”.
The highly intelligent and innovative GR-FOUR AWD system uses slightly different gear ratios for the front and rear axles and allows for a theoretical range of front/rear torque balance from 100:0 (full front-wheel drive) to 0:100 (full rear-wheel drive). Drivers are able to adjust the system’s performance to suit their preference or driving situation as required, using a AWD mode dial switch.
“In normal mode, the base front/rear torque distribution is 60:40; in Sport mode the balance shifts to the rear, with 30:70 distribution to achieve a fun-to-drive quality on winding roads and circuits; and in Track mode the base setting is 50:50 for fast, competitive driving on circuits or special stages. In each mode, the torque balance will automatically adjust in response to the driver’s inputs, vehicle behaviour and road or track conditions.”
The GR Yaris, scheduled for an Australian arrival toward the fourth quarter of 2020, with the regular Yaris range scheduled for launch locally within five months.