With a launch date confirmed this January, Toyota and its motorsports arm, Gazoo Racing has given several European publications early access to its much-awaited next global GR model—the GR Yaris.
Based on a prototype drive attended by Evo, here are the things they’ve managed to get thus far:
- It’s a homologation special made to comply with the WRC’s R5 class.
- The GR Yaris’s three-door shell is completely different from the regular five-door version. The specifications including aerodynamics, weight, stiffness, and weight distribution were all based on the requests of Tommi Mäkinen who served as team boss of the Toyota world rally team.
- It incorporates both carbon fiber and aluminum in its construction.
- The engine is mounted 21-mm further back than in the regular Yaris to improve weight distribution and the roofline is 95-mm lower.
- The rear suspension swaps its torsion beam axle for independent double wishbones.
- It is powered by a 1.6-liter, 3-cylinder unit. Turbocharged, Toyota claims it makes more than 247 horsepower and 350 Nm of torque—this makes it the most powerful three-cylinder engine in the market.
- It has permanent all-wheel drive with a clutch pack fitted at each end. This is capable of sending 100 percent of the engine power to either axle. Limited slip differential will be available as an option.
- There’s no drift mode.
- Its sole transmission is a 6-speed manual.
- The debut will be made at the Tokyo Auto Salon in January but customer deliveries will be slated to start in the third quarter of 2020 as a regular production (i.e. not limited edition) model.