Distributor UMW Toyota Motor has announced that it has received “overwhelming” demand for the new GR Yaris, which was launched in Malaysia last month. The news is a hurry-up call of sorts to potential buyers who have yet to decide whether to purchase the über-hot hatch, with just 127 units earmarked for the local market (the company’s official figure is “under 200 units,” which suggests an option of importing more).

No indication of how many have already been snapped up, but UMW Toyota says the units have “shot out of the showrooms with unprecedented speed.” President Ravindran Kurusamy said the company knew the GR Yaris had potential in the Malaysian market ever since it was informed about the car, given the increasing amount of motorsport activities it was organising locally.

“The enthusiastic fans were eagerly awaiting the launch of the model and wasted no time booking one right after we launched the car on December 17, 2020. And now, just over a month since its launch, we have been receiving such overwhelming response. We thank customers for their enthusiastic support,” he said, adding that while the take-up rate has been fast, customers were still encouraged to register their interest.

Deputy chairman and Gazoo Racing Malaysia chief motorsports officer Akio Takeyama said, “The GR brand harnesses the experience gained by pushing the limits in motorsport and applies it to a whole new generation of high-performance cars from Toyota. The result is models like the GR Yaris that are fine examples of how we are making ever-better cars that are rewarding and fun to drive. Further to that, we are also more than pleased that we will be introducing even more GR models to the in the near future,”

To recap, the GR Yaris is a World Rally Championship-inspired three-door hot hatch, coming off the back of a manufacturers’ title and two consecutive drivers’ crowns. Based on the Japanese- and European-market five-door Yaris but with the double-wishbone rear suspension of the C-HR, it’s powered by a bespoke G16E-GTS 1.6 litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine, delivering 261 PS and 360 Nm of torque.

Those outputs are routed through a six-speed manual gearbox and a unique all-wheel-drive system with a multi-plate clutch to apportion torque. We get the coveted Performance Pack that adds front and rear limited-slip differentials, 18-inch BBS forged alloy wheels, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres and retuned suspension.

Initially priced at RM299,000, the GR Yaris was given a price drop of over RM12,000 thanks to the extension of the sales and services tax (SST) exemption, now retailing at RM286,896 on-the-road without insurance. The car is only available at selected showrooms with the GR Garage, which also offers the GR Supra and the new Vios GR Sport.