British Asia Network - Shahzad Sheikh
London 10 January 2020 - Toyota as just announced the GR Yaris inspired by the manufacturer's World Rally Championship Rally car. This ferocious little all-wheel drive hot hatch comes with the most powerful three-cylinder ever - 257bhp from a 1.6-litre 3-cyl petrol engine.
Developed by Toyota's GR department (Gazoo Racing) and Tommi Makinen Racing (Toyota's WRC partner) this car will go on sale in the second half of this year.
This is Toyota's first road-going homologation model for WRC competition since the Celica GT-Four of the 1990s. The focus with the new GR Yaris is better aerodynamics, lower weight and better mass distribution - plus of course that engine.
There's a 91mm lower roofline and the engine has been placed further back in the engine bay to bring it closer to the centre of the car. Putting the battery in the boot further helps in balancing weight.
The three-door body with frameless doors is made from carbon fibre polymer and aluminium and there's a wider track with 18-inch alloy wheels and new double wishbone rear suspension.
The turbo charged engine produces 360Nm of torque and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission making the 1280kg car capable of 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds and giving it a top speed of 143mph.
The acceleration is helped by all-wheel drive traction which can go from full front-wheel drive to full rear-wheel drive. Normal mode is 60:40 biase towards the front wheels, in Sports mode it goes to 30:70 with more rear-drive bias and in track mode it's set at 50:50.
There high performance braking with large front discs and four-pot callipers and buyers can opt for a 'Circuit Pack' which adds a Torsen limited-slip differential to both front and rear axles, further performance-tuned suspension and Michelin Pilot Sport 4s tyres.
UK prices has not yet been revealed but in Japan the RZ First Edition is set to cost 3.96 million Yen, or around £27,700.