Toyota GR Yaris: A Rally Car for the Road

November 26, 2020

Toyota GR Yaris


Toyota has launched its hotly anticipated 200kW Toyota GR Yaris, a pure performance car forged in the heat of motorsport competition.

The new super-hot hatch is already a sales success with local dealers taking 1,200 advance orders for the second model in the GR performance car range, following the GR Supra launched in 2019.

GR Yaris has all the credentials for competition success. At its heart is a new 200kW/370Nm 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine – the world’s most powerful mass-produced three-cylinder powerplant.

Along with an all-new platform, unique three-door body, aerodynamic styling and a new GR-FOUR permanent all-wheel drive system, GR Yaris has an impressive power-to-weight ratio of 156kW/tonne and sprints from 0-100 km/h in 5.2 seconds.

GR Yaris is the first all-Toyota sports car and the company’s first homologation model for WRC competition since the Celica GT-FOUR ended production in 1999.

It brings motorsport technology directly to the world of the road car through the combined design and engineering skills of Toyota’s title-winning TOYOTA GAZOO Racing and World Rally Championship teams.

Toyota Australia Vice President Sales and Marketing Sean Hanley said every aspect of GR Yaris was focused on bringing exhilarating performance to a wide audience of sports-car enthusiasts.

“The brainchild of our president Akio Toyoda, our new GR brand harnesses the experience gained by pushing the limits in motorsport and applies it to a whole new generation of performance road cars,” Mr Hanley said.

“The result is performance thoroughbreds like GR Yaris that are true to our ethos of making ever-better cars that are rewarding and fun to drive.”

Aerodynamic design and sports performance

As a bespoke three-door, the low tapered side profile and wide squat stance of GR Yaris mark it as a serious performance car.

Sharing just three exterior components with the Yaris hatch – headlights, taillights and mirrors – the sculpted, aerodynamically designed car achieves a kerb weight of just 1280kg1.

It features a Toyota-first carbon-fibre roof and aluminium panels for the bonnet, doors and tailgate.

The lightweight, compact 200kW turbo engine adopts motorsport technologies to deliver an exhilarating drive experience, including multi oil-jet piston cooling, machined intake ports and large-diameter exhaust valves.

It is also equipped with direct and port fuel-injection, high-speed combustion, a single scroll ball-bearing turbocharger, an aluminium oil cooler and a large-capacity water pump and air cleaner.

Mated to a six-speed intelligent manual gearbox (iMT) with rev-matching on up and down shifts, its top speed is 230km/h. An automatic transmission is unavailable.

At the same time, GR Yaris achieves high-performance efficiency, including a stop-and-start system. It meets Euro 6 standards, returning combined cycle fuel consumption of 7.6 litres/100km2 with CO2 emissions of 172 grams/km3.

Fuel capacity at 50 litres strikes a balance between weight and driving range.

Agile handling and stability in safety

The GR Yaris has a new, dedicated platform that combines the front end of Toyota’s GA-B platform (Yaris) with the rear of the GA-C platform (Corolla).

This accommodates a new suspension design and GR-FOUR all-wheel-drive system, while also contributing to the car’s excellent stability and handling.

Toyota’s ingenious GR-FOUR system is designed to optimise drive power to each wheel, while also being simple, compact and light.

It offers a theoretical torque split of up to 100 per cent to the front or rear wheels, governed by a high-response coupling and an electronically controlled multiplate clutch located ahead of the rear differential.

Driver-selectable AWD settings are Normal (directing 40 per cent of available torque to the rear wheels), Track (50 per cent to the rear wheels) and Sport (70 per cent to the rear wheels). The system will adjust torque split automatically based on driver inputs, vehicle behaviour and road or track conditions.

Every element of the new fully independent front and rear suspension setups has been optimised for performance, including high-response shock absorbers.

Front MacPherson struts are more rigid than the five-door Yaris hatch with newly developed knuckles and stiffer bushes for maximum control and stability.

A multi-link rear suspension, in contrast to the torsion beam layout in the standard Yaris, is also more rigid with new upper arms and stiffer settings for optimal responsiveness, handling and traction in high-speed cornering.

Electric power rack-and-pinion steering has been tuned to provide effective feedback and a true sports feel.

Large 356mm two-piece ventilated discs with four-piston callipers provide stopping power at the front, with 297mm ventilated discs and two-piston callipers at the rear, both designed to provide confident, stable and fade-resistant braking performance.

The short-stroke brake pedal has been tuned to provide a linear feeling with solid feedback while the clutch also features a mechanism to ensure consistent pedal feel and compensate for wear over time.

Given the sports potential of the GR Yaris, safety has also been a major priority with the GR Yaris featuring a suite of the latest Toyota Safety Sense4 features.

These include pre-collision safety system with autonomous emergency braking, intersection assistance, emergency steering assist, high-speed adaptive cruise control, lane trace assist, road-sign assist, auto high beam, blind spot monitor, head-up display, rear view camera and six airbags.

Driver-focused interior

The driver-focused cabin marks GR Yaris as a serious performance car with a small-diameter leather-wrapped steering wheel with fingertip controls, leather-wrapped short-throw gear shifter and handbrake, and aluminium pedals.

Large speedo and tacho dials sit either side of a 4.2-inch multi information display that offers an array of details including turbo pressure and gear-shift indicators.

Premium sports front seats offer the support and comfort of large bolsters. The adjustable driver’s seat and tilt-and-telescopic steering column contribute to an ideal seating position.

Two rear seats feature ISOFIX anchor points and are split 60/40- to expand the 141-litre luggage space.

Standard premium equipment includes dual-zone climate-control air-conditioning, smart entry and start, 8-speaker JBL®5 audio, an advanced multimedia system and a 7-inch touchscreen display.

GR Yaris is covered by the five-year Toyota Warranty Advantage6, seven years for engine and driveline7, and capped-price servicing for the first six services within a 6-month/10,000km interval at $260 each8.

GR Yaris Pricing9

GR Yaris $49,500


1 Weights are approximate and are subject to individual vehicle variances, accessory fitment and weight carried.
2 Achieved in test conditions for comparison purposes only. Actual fuel consumption varies depending on driving conditions/style, vehicle condition, load and options/accessories fitted. Source: ADR81/02 combined (litres/100km) for auto models.
3 Emissions vary depending on driving conditions/style, vehicle condition & options/accessories fitted.
4 Driver assist feature. Only operates under certain conditions. Check your Owner’s Manual for explanation of limitations. Please drive safely.
5 Product & company names are trademarks of their respective owners.
6 The standard Toyota Warranty Advantage period is 5 years, with unlimited kms, from delivery. Excludes vehicles used for a commercial purpose, such as taxis, hire vehicles and vehicles transporting people or goods for payment including rideshare. See or your vehicle’s Warranty and Service Book for T&Cs. This warranty does not limit and may not necessarily exceed your rights under the Australian Consumer Law.
7 The Toyota Warranty Advantage Extended Engine and Driveline coverage is for 7yrs from delivery, provided your vehicle is properly serviced and maintained per its Warranty and Service Book. Excludes vehicles used for a commercial purpose, such as taxis, hire vehicles and vehicles transporting people or goods for payment including rideshare. See or your vehicle’s Warranty and Service Book for T&Cs. This warranty does not limit and may not necessarily exceed your rights under the Australian Consumer Law.
8 Max price quoted is model specific. Applies to standard scheduled logbook servicing (normal operating conditions) for 3 years/60,000km (whichever comes first) up to a max. 6 services. Excludes Government & Rental vehicles. For details see your Toyota dealer or visit
9 Manufacturer’s recommended retail prices provided for media purposes only. Statutory charges or other on-road costs not included.