[UPDATE: Toyota South Africa Motors says it has "requested the local introduction" of the GR Yaris, adding that it's "currently under study"...]
Toyota has finally revealed its new GR Yaris at the Tokyo Auto Salon, confirming the all-wheel-drive hot hatch’s peak outputs in the process.
Billed as a homologation model “born to win the FIA World Rally Championship”, the three-door GR Yaris employs a turbocharged 1,6-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine to deliver 200 kW (the highest output for a production three-pot yet) and 370 N.m to all four corners. Interestingly, these figures are listed on the firm's global media website, while the European press material shows peak outputs of 192 kW and 360 N.m.
Regardless, Toyota claims a zero to 100 km/h sprint time of "less than 5,5 seconds" and an electronically limited top speed of 230 km/h.
A six-speed manual gearbox ships standard, while the "GR-Four" all-wheel-drive system incorporates a Torsen limited-slip differential on each axle and an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch centre differential. The all-paw system features three modes: normal, sport and track.
The Japanese firm says the new GR Yaris was developed “to be a car that responds to driver demand on all types of roads worldwide”. It was built by Toyota Gazoo Racing “from scratch” with optimised front and rear (MacPherson strut and double wishbone configuration, respectively) suspension geometry.
Furthermore, the upper body, in addition to the use of aluminium for the bonnet, boot lid and door panels, features a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic roof panel (the kerb weight is a claimed 1 280 kg). The little hot hatch is expected to ride on 18-inch alloys wrapped in 225/R40 rubber and framing ventilated brake discs (measuring 356 mm up front).
The GR Yaris will be built on a dedicated production line at Toyota's Motomachi Plant, with assembly set to be carried out by takumi (master craftsperson) team members.
In Japan, Toyota will offer the GR Yaris in "First Edition" and "High-performance First Edition" guises. No word yet on whether the hot hatch is destined for South Africa…
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.