Currently reading: New Toyota GR Yaris makes first UK appearance at Goodwood
Rally ace Elfyn Evans will drive 257bhp hot hatch at Goodwood Speedweek; UK deliveries to begin shortly
James Attwood, digital editor
News
4 mins read
16 October 2020

The 257bhp Toyota GR Yaris, the second model in the GR sports car range, will make its UK dynamic debut at this weekend's Goodwood Speedweek, with rally ace Elfyn Evans behind the wheel.

The Welsh driver, who currently leads the World Rally Championship, will showcase the new rally-derived hot hatch on the special rally stage that will be created on the Goodwood circuit at the event, which combines elements from the Festival of Speed and Revival meeting. Evans will showcase the car on the stage on Thursday 15 October and Friday 16 October.

The Speedweek event will not be open to spectators, due to Covid-19 restrictions, but action from the event will be streamed online and highlights shown on TV.

The UK showcase for the GR Yaris comes after production began in Japan last month. The first production example came off the production the new GR line at a dedicated facility, following the implementation of a new vehicle assembly system that comprises a series of individual cells connected by driverless vehicles.

Toyota says this method is more suitable than the conventional conveyor belt system used elsewhere, because it allows for greater accuracy in constructing rigid sports car shells and chassis.  

The GR Yaris was recently made available to pre-order from £29,995 ahead of its market launch.

Interested buyers are invited to choose between the standard variant - which comes equipped with 18in alloy wheels wrapped in Dunlop Sport Maxx tyres, as well as dual-exit exhaust pipes, a leather steering wheel, keyless entry and active noise control as standard - or the hardcore Circuit Pack variant. This latter bumps the price up to £33,495 and adds a pair of limited-slip differentials, red brake calipers, sticky Michelin Pilot sports tyres and tuned suspension in the name of enhanced dynamics. 

Both models are painted white as standard, but red, black and silver finishes are available as optional extras. Deliveries are set to get underway in November. 

The new hot hatch, which Autocar has driven in camouflagued prototype formhas been developed by Gazoo Racing in Japan as a homologation special to aid development of the next-generation Yaris WRC. Tommi Mäkinen Racing, which runs Toyota’s World Rally Championship programme, had significant input into the model.

The GR Yaris joins the GR Supra in Toyota's growing performance line-up. At the car's launch, Gazoo Racing boss Shigeki Tomoyama said: “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.”

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First drive: Toyota GR Yaris hot hatch prototype tested

The GR Yaris is built on a special four-wheel-drive version of Toyota’s TNGA architecture, with the front end of the GA-B small car platform – as used on the new Yaris – and the rear from the GA-C of the larger Corolla. 

Compared with the regular Yaris, the new machine has an entirely different body, with a lower roof, three doors instead of five and significantly reworked bodywork to aid aerodynamics.

The GR Yaris is 3995mm long and 1805mm wide, with a wheelbase of 2558mm. The front track is 1530mm and the rear track is 1560mm.

The bodywork makes extensive use of carbonfibre polymer and aluminium to reduce weight. It also includes a substantially wider rear track than the regular Yaris, along with new double-wishbone rear suspension. Kerb weight is 1280kg.

Only limited technical information was available when Autocar drove the GR Yaris, but Toyota later confirmed that the turbocharged 1.6-litre three-cylinder engine will produce a maximum of 257bhp and 265lb ft.

The engine is mated to a six-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission (IMT) gearbox, with permanent four-wheel drive delivered by Toyota’s new GR-Four system. This uses a multi-plate clutch and can vary power to all four wheels, with three preset levels of torque distribution, including a wholly rear-biased one. The GR Yaris features 356mm grooved front disc brakes that utilise four-pot calipers.

Pre-orders have already opened for the hot hatch in Japan, where it's being being offered initially in limited-run RZ First Edition and RZ High Performance First Edition guises. Both models feature bodywork styling tweaks and elements, along with other design features.

The GR Yaris will be produced on a dedicated Gazoo Racing line at Toyota’s production facility in Motomachi, Japan, that uses a large number of manual processes.

READ MORE

First drive: Toyota GR-Yaris hot hatch prototype tested

Toyota GR Supra review

Toyota Yaris 2020 UK review

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Comments
41

10 January 2020

Hell yes. 

10 January 2020
So few new cars are appealing, interesting and exciting. Who would have thought a Yaris would be one of them!

10 January 2020

 If this Car is any good it will make the Fiesta an also ran maybe?

10 January 2020
Peter Cavellini wrote:

 If this Car is any good it will make the Fiesta an also ran maybe?

It should be obvious to the meanest intellect that it won't - the Fiesta starts about £7k cheaper (even assuming the price here is the same as in Japan) and is available as a 5-door.

10 January 2020
Sporky McGuffin wrote:
Peter Cavellini wrote:

 If this Car is any good it will make the Fiesta an also ran maybe?

It should be obvious to the meanest intellect that it won't - the Fiesta starts about £7k cheaper (even assuming the price here is the same as in Japan) and is available as a 5-door.

. Fiesta ST is about fifty horse power down,and, yes, it won’t sell here at £28K, it’ll be £32K maybe, even so, it’ll make the ST look slow.

5 March 2020
Peter Cavellini wrote:

 If this Car is any good it will make the Fiesta an also ran maybe?

But its more expensive than a Focus ST which has more power and a lightly breathed on 2.3 litre engine as opposed to a highly stressed 1.6. However I suspect the Fiesta will be more fun to drive and a lot cheaper to run, but in the real world not much, if any slower.

10 January 2020

JDM version have 268bhp (200kW) and 273lb ft. What the hell.

10 January 2020
Well done Toyota, for bringing this rally-derived model to market and at a point in history when it seems truly interesting and accessible ICE models, are thin on the ground.

Takes me back to the good old days :)

Could this be a modern day Lancia Delta Integrale?

10 January 2020

Amazing value at £28k, I thought it would be a limited run of left-hand cars at £35k a pop.

So it's hats off to Toyota, now if only they could make the other 95% of your range more interesting!

10 January 2020
xxxx wrote:

Amazing value at £28k, I thought it would be a limited run of left-hand cars at £35k a pop.

So it's hats off to Toyota, now if only they could make the other 95% of your range more interesting!

We were slightly hopeful that you would follow through with your comment, that...you would actually pledge to buy this car...then out it came...your "reason" for not buying it...blaming the "other 95%" of the range for being less interesting. Nothing changes, everything stays the same. Fool.

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