The Toyota Yaris is not exactly a car that you’d associate with high performance, both in terms of outright speed, as well as its ability to handle twisting roads with any particular poise and ability.
Enter the new GR Yaris. The newly-presented GR Yaris is a homologation model, specifically designed and manufactured to fulfil Toyota’s need for a car eligible for the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). The Japanese manufacturer unveiled the searing hatchback at the Tokyo Auto Salon.
Motorsport fans will be well aware of the company that Toyota partnered up with to develop the new rally-inspired Yaris: Tommi Mäkinen Racing. The Finnish motorsport company describes itself as such: “Tommi Mäkinen Racing operating in the field of rally and is responsible for service and event operations of Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team. In Finland Tommi Mäkinen Racing has a headquarter, product development and test operations.”
Older fans will remember legendary driver, and current team executive, Tommi Mäkinen. Mäkinen has the fifth most WRC race wins of all time, with a total of 24 wins. He was most famous for the special edition Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution which bore his name.
The new Toyota GR Yaris employs a 4-wheel drive system with a custom-built body to achieve high levels of torsional rigidity. The front and rear suspension geometry are also tuned specifically for this model. Moreover, the upper body, while also using aluminum for the hood, trunk lid, and door panels, also features a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic roof panel, created through the employment of the sheet molding compound method.
The GR Yaris will be split into two editions. The special-edition RZ “First Edition” is only available through a pre-order system that Toyota has just commenced.
In Japan, the vehicle price of the special-edition RZ “First Edition” is planned to be around 32,000 euros (including consumption tax), and the vehicle price of the special-edition RZ “High-performance First Edition” is planned to be around 37,000 euros (including consumption tax).
Finally, the car will weigh 1,280 kg and have an in-line 3 cylinder turbo engine putting out 268 horsepower with 360 Newton metres of torque.