2020 Toyota GR Yaris

The Toyota GR Yaris made its official debut at the 2020 Tokyo Auto Salon earlier in January this year, arriving as a production car that forms the basis of the Japanese giant’s entry into the World Rally Championship. The three-door hot hatch has been made available for booking from March in Europe, though the B-segment performance entry hasn’t been made available for the United States.

Toyota released a tweet stating that despite the absence of the GR Yaris from that market, there will be a hot hatchback for the United States ‘to call its own’, which points to the GR Corolla as the most probably candidate. In February, Toyota had been said to introduce the GR Corolla for the United Kingdom in 2023, and that it will be powered by the G16E-GTS 1.6 litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine from the GR Yaris.

Another report by CarsGuide hinted at the GR Corolla sharing the powertrain from the GR Yaris as well, including its six-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel-drive, GR Yaris chief engineer Naohiko Saito suggested, who said that it would be a waste to use the powertrain combination for just one car.

This setup produces 272 PS and 370 Nm of torque, sent to all four wheels through a GR-Four AWD system with a Torsen mechanical self-locking differential at each axle, though there is no centre differential in the interests of weight saving. Three settings are on offer for the driver – Normal (60:40 split), Sport (30:70) and Track (50:50).

The GR Yaris has its doors and hood made of aluminium while the roof is CFRP, weighing in at 1,280 kg in total. It would be safe to think that Toyota would be similarly meticulous in keeping the GR Corolla trim on the scales to maximise performance, though interestingly the larger car has been reported to be detuned to 253 PS. Even so, this would keep it marginally ahead of the Mk8 Golf GTI, which packs 245 PS and 370 Nm.

A step below the full-fledged GR models is the GR Sport range. Japan gets the GR Sport trim for the C-HR, and a Corolla GR Sport has been made available for Europe from January. For our region, Thailand gets the GR Sport kit for the Corolla Altis sedan.

GALLERY: Toyota GR Yaris