Toyota GR Yaris launched in Europe, from RM158k

Toyota GR Yaris launched in Europe, from RM158k

The Toyota GR Yaris has gone on sale in Europe, bringing rally-inspired performance to the continent. The company has released a veritable deluge of images and information to go with the availability of this highly anticipated pocket rocket, the second global GR product after the Supra.

Being the brand’s first sports car to be fully developed in-house in two decades, the GR Yaris has a lot riding on its shoulders. So it’s just as well that Toyota has pulled out all the stops, endowing the hatchback with a bespoke three-door body (the standard European-market Yaris is five-door only) and underpinnings.

The body shell was optimised for World Rally Championship (WRC) aerodynamic regulations, so it’s 60 mm wider (1,805 mm) and 45 mm lower (1,455 mm) than the regular Yaris. The trailing edge of the roof is actually a whopping 95 mm lower, allowing for a more efficient rear wing on the rally car. And despite having fewer doors, the GR Yaris is actually 55 mm longer (3,995 mm), though its 2,560 mm wheelbase is unchanged.

Toyota GR Yaris launched in Europe, from RM158k

As you can imagine, the significant rejigging of the proportions means that the GR Yaris doesn’t share any body panels with the cooking model, with only the lamps, door mirrors and antenna being carried over. The front end has been geared for cooling with the addition of a large rectangular lower grille, feeding air into the engine, radiator and intercooler, while vertical intakes on either side cool the brakes.

Adding to the car’s purposeful nature is the downforce-producing front splitter, which has a raised centre section to control the airflow going under the car. This is complemented by the upper and lower corner lips that frame the fog light surrounds and function as canards to generate downforce in the corners.

You also have the much wider front and rear fenders, with the flared rear arches being particularly flat to smoothen airflow leaving the car and reduce drag. The glasshouse also tapers to improve aerodynamic performance at the back of the car, where you’ll find a large diffuser and twin tailpipes. Underfloor airflow has also been improved with flat covers and front wheel spats.

Toyota GR Yaris launched in Europe, from RM158k

The dashboard has been largely carried over but with a few detail changes. The 4.2-inch multi-info display gets a screen that shows the workings of the all-wheel-drive system, the setup of which can be manipulated using the rotary controller ahead of the gearlever. Speaking of which, the shifter has been raised by 50 mm, putting it closer to the driver’s reach and allowing for faster shifts.

Also fitted are sports seats with increased cushion padding and thinner backs, a three-spoke GR steering wheel and specially-positioned sports pedals. As for practicality, the GR has a much smaller boot at just 174 litres, though you can still fold the 60:40 split-folding rear seats for more luggage space if you so wish.

The bespoke componentry extends to the engine, a G16E-GTS 1.6 litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine. Touted as both the largest and most powerful three-cylinder in production as well as the smallest and lightest 1.6 litre turbo around, it comes with D-4S port and direct injection, as well as a single-scroll turbo integrated with the exhaust manifold. Outputs for the European model are rated at 261 PS at 6,500 rpm and 360 Nm of torque from 3,000 to 4,600 rpm, 11 PS and 10 Nm down on the Japanese one.

The GR Yaris is only available with a six-speed manual gearbox, complete with a rev-matching function. The GR-Four all-wheel-drive system has been developed specifically for the car – the first such system in 20 years – and ditches the heavy centre differential in favour of a multi-plate clutch in the rear differential to distribute torque to the front and rear wheels.

Drivers have three different settings for the torque split to choose from. In Normal mode, the car sends around 60% to the front wheels and 40% to the rear, whereas Sport mode has a 30:70 split to add some rear-drive handling characteristics. Track mode dials it back to a 50:50 split for maximum performance. The Circuit Pack adds Torsen limited-slip differentials at the front and rear to shuffle torque from side to side.

This all-wheel-drive system is the reason why Toyota has spliced up two of its platforms for the GR Yaris. The front end retains the same GA-B underpinnings as the standard car, but the rear end uses the C variant from the Corolla and C-HR instead. This allows the fitment of double wishbones at the rear, making space for the differential and half shafts.

Toyota GR Yaris launched in Europe, from RM158k

At the front, the MacPherson strut suspension has been retained but sports reinforced hub bearings, lower arms and their associated bushings, plus revised anti-roll bars and redesigned knuckles that increase negative camber and optimise the car’s roll steer characteristics. The bespoke dampers have increased response, while the steering has been retuned for greater alacrity and feedback.

The GR Yaris comes as standard with 18-inch alloy wheels and Dunlop SP Sport Maxx 050 tyres, hiding ventilated brake discs that measure 356 mm at the front (even larger than the Supra’s) and 297 mm at the rear. These are clamped by four-piston callipers at the front and two-piston units at the rear. A manual handbrake replaces the Yaris’ electronic parking brake, and the rear axle is disconnected when it is pulled while moving to allow drivers to slide into a corner.

The Circuit Pack throws in GR-badged red callipers, lightweight BBS alloys and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres, along with stiffer springs and anti-roll bars, retuned dampers and tweaked power steering settings to take advantage of the extra grip.

Toyota GR Yaris launched in Europe, from RM158k

Going hand-in-hand with the uprated chassis, the body shell has been stiffened and lightened for this application, with increased spot welds and structural adhesive and a reinforced rear end. A forged carbon roof and aluminium doors, tailgate and bonnet shave around 27.5 kg and enable the body to weigh around 38 kg less than the previous Yaris. All-in-all, the GR Yaris tips the scales at 1,280 kg.

Despite the performance bent, the car doesn’t compromise on safety, fitted with the full Toyota Safety Sense suite of driver assists. These include autonomous emergency braking with oncoming vehicle detection, daytime cyclist detection and nighttime pedestrian detection, lane centring assist, lane keeping assist and automatic high beam.

In Germany, the GR Yaris is priced starting from €32,363 (RM157,500), although the Circuit Pack bumps it up to €36,740 (RM178,800). By comparison, the larger Honda Civic Type R retails at €37,032 (RM180,200). Malaysian distributor UMW Toyota has hinted at the car’s possible arrival here, where it will likely retail north of the RM300,000 mark. Can’t wait? You can drive one in Gran Turismo Sport starting tomorrow.

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Jonathan Lee

After trying to pursue a career in product design, Jonathan Lee decided to make the sideways jump into the world of car journalism instead. He therefore appreciates the aesthetic appeal of a car, but for him, the driving experience is still second to none.



  • alvin on Nov 12, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    TNGA, Double Wishbones,
    World most powerful 1.6 3cyl.

    Toyota GT-Four Celica Re-Born in disguised.
    the last AWD sport car from Toyota.

    Very expensive arr this Toyota GR Yaris.
    lucky it’s beautiful too, not just faster than Civic Type R and Megane RS, it has:

    1. Frameless Windows like the last Passat CC
    2. Pandem Wide Body, 1806mm wide! wider than Civic Corolla.
    3. Large wheels 225R18 for 1280kg.

    pandem wide body cars with frameless windows with real power and handling, faster than civic Type R and Megane RS. Strong enough

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1
    • Europe Toyota Yaris priced from RM158K. meanwhile here is rm70,888 only…. Yaris menang beli, menang lagi pakai.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 7
    • dream_125 on Nov 12, 2020 at 8:44 pm

      “not just faster than Civic Type R and Megane RS”

      The GR Yaris for Europe is electronically limited to 230km/h, therefore it’s slower than Type R and Megane RS.
      Anyway, it’s not designed for high speeds, but for high acceleration.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • More powerful than Toyota 86 Coupe.
    comes with bespoke Rally engine.
    GR-4 AWD with twin Torsen locking differentials.

    it’s making wonders, ready to race with redline near 7000rpm. Developed directly from Toyota Gazoo Racing and WRC’s partner with Tommi Mäkinen Racing.

    the GR model is manufactured some 800 km away at the Motomachi factory on a dedicated production line. For increased precision, the company marries the body and chassis on a surface plate and uses equipment that can measure the alignment without stressing the tyres.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1
    • Alepat on Nov 12, 2020 at 3:36 pm

      Less comfort car, I’ll pass this

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 12
      • You mean Civic Type R also less comfort than this Yaris GR.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3
        • type R on Nov 15, 2020 at 11:11 am

          Better Civic type R, one segment higher, more comfort in long journey and don’t look like myvi

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  • Datuk on Nov 12, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    when you want to race a car everywhere, anywhere
    this is the car.

    from off-road to track race.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4
    • Lambo on Nov 12, 2020 at 3:37 pm

      Can beat huracan?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
    • dream_125 on Nov 12, 2020 at 8:15 pm

      Off-road yes, track race no. Rally cars have a gear ratio for fast acceleration and not top speed.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
    • potato on Nov 13, 2020 at 2:44 am

      still can’t beat AMG45 A Class… somemore this car only have manual offering.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4
  • San People on Nov 12, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    wow that price just screams white privelege

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3
  • Kunta Kanta Konto on Nov 12, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    this car is battery freee! cannot find battery in the engine. come to malaysia I buy one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • longjaafar on Nov 12, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    More than RM300k. How much more?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4
  • longjaafar on Nov 12, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    On paper, it is better than the more expensive Mini JCW.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • stick on Nov 12, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    the sale of this kind of cars which literally encourage racing on public road must totally be banned.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9
    • These cars are over-engineered for road.
      Driver will only get a more durable car for daily use, compliance to regulated speed.

      Professional driver drive professionally at circuits,
      Drive maturely on regulated roads.

      Professional drivers care for safety, matured – not like amateur.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3
    • dream_125 on Nov 12, 2020 at 9:01 pm

      Be calm. All manufacturers had big problems in the past to sell enough cars for homologation. Therefore even the homologation rules had to be changed. The worldwide market for this cars is very small.
      This car accelerates extremely fast and is quick around corners, but it’s a pain to drive in normal traffic. It’s noisy, hard, thirsty and difficult to drive. Or do you want to drive with your wife through town to the shopping center with 7000rpm?
      BTW: The majority of professional F1 drivers drive normal sedans on public roads… ;)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • You know who should be banned first?
      … Grab riders!!!
      Traffic menace & Noise Pollution all in one..

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Why we in Bolehland get only chekai Yaris? C’mon la UMW and Toyota….Bring this one in please.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
    • Because yaris is enough to smoke this car even can fly !

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
      • Yaris can smoke this Yaris? Lol, very funny

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
        • english teacher on Nov 15, 2020 at 11:06 am

          Read again, it means chekai yaris can smoke yaris GR, you failed your comprehension. smoke weeds tooo much

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Malaysia 300k

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • blue bean army on Nov 12, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    New incoming myvi version perhaps? ;)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • DVD TAK on Nov 12, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    We have our god car MYVI

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • Brian on Nov 12, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    Freaking expensive for a souped up B-segment car but at least you won’t find Conti Ah Bengs shamelessly mode their standard Yaris with GR bodykit bits & bobs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
  • Semi-Value (Member) on Nov 12, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    this is the car toyota should have always made

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2
  • Turtle Power on Nov 13, 2020 at 8:46 am

    I sense MYVI owners are thinking real hard to imitate the GR Yaris now. haha

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • I wish they have 4 door version like the Caldina GT Four chassis. That appeals more to ppl who need the power and practicality . This GR Yaris only suits a very niche market

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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