It’s finally here. The puffed-up, pissed-off, rally-inspired 2020 Toyota GR Yaris. And it comes with three pedals because of course it does. Perhaps there is a god.
Unveiled today at the Tokyo Auto Salon, the GR Yaris rides on a newly dedicated, four-wheel drive version of Toyota’s TNGA platform. It uses the front end of Toyota’s GA-B small cars platform and the rear of the GA-C platform, which underpins the Corolla, according to a press release. That 4WD system normally has a base front/rear torque split of 60:40. In sport mode, the car becomes more rear-biased with a 30:70 split. In track mode, the base setting is 50:50.
Developed from Toyota’s experience in the World Rally Championship, Toyota Gazoo Racing built the GR Yaris “from scratch” and gave it a super rigid but balanced body and optimized front- and rear-suspension geometry, according to another press release.
And it sounds like Toyota has lightened the thing considerably; the GR Yaris has an aluminum hood, trunk lid and door panels. The roof panel is made from carbon fiber-reinforced plastic. The whole thing weighs just 1,280 kg (2,822 pounds) and the roof’s been lowered by 91mm.
The engine choices include a nasty-sounding turbocharged, 1.6-liter, direct-injected inline-three that uses lightweight moving parts in the turbocharger, air intake and exhaust system. Making 272 PS (268 horsepower) and 273 lb-ft of torque, Toyota claims it has the world’s highest output for a three-cylinder engine. And at 167.5 HP per liter, those claims could hold water. By contrast, a Ferrari 488 GTB makes 169.4 (nice) HP per liter. (Toyota’s Japanese media release notes this power output is for the Japanese version. The European version is rated at 257 HP.)
All that’s hooked up to a six-speed manual.
The brakes include 356mm, grooved front discs with four-pot calipers. Customers can further upgrade the car with an optional Circuit Pack, which gives you a Torsen limited-slip differential on both axles, a performance-tuned suspension, 18-inch forged alloy wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport 4s 225/40R18 tires.
It’s doubtful this wondrous thing will ever make it to our shores, but Toyota reports the special first editions will cost ¥3.96 million (approximately $36,000) and ¥4.56 million (approximately $42,000).
For a Yaris, that isn’t cheap. But just look at it! It’s like a bulldog rally car with sky-high, beefy arches. That three-cylinder has got to be super hyped-up and buzzy. The manual will just make it better.
Do everyone a favor if you’re seriously considering this. Get the red one.