That was fast. Before the first consignment of Toyota GR Yaris models (slated for arrival in June) has even reached South African shores, Gazoo Racing has made good on its promise for a more hardcore, track-focussed version and has revealed the GR Yaris Rallye in Australia. These Rallyes are equivalent to the European Track Pack, and a spokesman from Toyota Motors SA has confirmed that South Africa will get both the standard and amped-up, track-focussed version of the GR Yaris.
Building on the proven credentials of the 200 kW GR Yaris which we drove in our February 2021 issue, the new Rallye/Track Pack edition features lightweight components and performance parts that up the ante for keen drivers who want a higher level of performance on the track and the road, says Toyota.
These upgrades include specially tuned GR suspension with stiffer anti-roll bars, Torsen limited-slip differentials on both the fore and aft axles, lightweight 18-inch BBS wheels with stickier Michelin Pilot Sport 4S high-performance tyres (225/40ZR18 in size) and improved front brake cooling.
Visually, the limited-edition model gets bespoke Frosted White crystal pearl paint and red brake callipers bearing the Toyota Gazoo Racing logo. While, inside, leather-accented sports seats get larger bolsters, sporty red stitching and perforated Ultrasuede inserts.
Of course, in true limited edition style, it’s not truly special if it doesn’t get a uniquely numbered plaque, and the GR Yaris Rallye’s adorns the centre console of the cabin, with an additional Rallye badge on the rear hatch for good measure.
At the reveal, Toyota representatives said, “The GR Yaris is a road-going sports car developed from Toyota’s championship-winning World Rally experience, and the Rallye dials up the focus on performance to the point that it is the closest you can get to a Yaris World Rally Car without joining the World Rally team.”
As a reminder, both the GR Yaris and Rallye/Track Pack are powered by the same 200 kW/370 N.m 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder, propelling the car from standstill to 100 km/h in 5,2 seconds. Power is delivered to all four wheels through the GR-FOUR all-wheel drive (AWD) system via a six-speed manual gearbox (iMT) with rev-matching on up and down shifts.
GR-FOUR AWD can be tailored through three driver-selectable modes: Normal, Track and Sport – that apportion different ratios of front-to-rear torque split with a maximum 60/40, 30/70 and 50/50 splits respectively.
The GR Yaris Rallye/Track Pack features the same three-door body shell as the standard GR Yaris with its lightweight architecture including a carbon fibre roof and aluminium panels for the doors, bonnet and tailgate. These, along with several weight-saving mechanical parts ensure the car achieves a kerb weight of just 1 280 kg.
We will keep you updated on the launch timing of the Toyota GR Yaris locally which at this stage is expected to be in June.