Toyota’s new hot hatchback, the GR Yaris, is coming to the UK later this year with prices starting at just under £30,000. The first batch of the all-wheel-drive, high-performance superminis are expected to arrive on British soil in November.
As with the new GR Supra, the new hot Yaris is prefixed by the GR moniker, which denotes the involvement of Toyota’s Gazoo Racing motorsport team. In fact, Tommi Mäkinen Racing - Toyota’s partner in its title-winning World Rally Championship campaign - has also had a hand in the car’s development. As a result, Toyota says the GR Yaris is an “authentic performance model in its own right”, rather than a derivative of the normal Yaris supermini.
Furthermore, the Japanese company describes the GR Yaris, which follows on from the Yaris GRMN previously on sale, as a machine “forged in the heat of the World Rally Championship”. It’s a claim backed up by the standard-fit four-wheel-drive system and the 257 bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine.
The unit might only have three cylinders, but it’s capable of catapulting the little GR Yaris from a standstill to 62 mph in less than 5.5 seconds. That’s the sort of performance you get from a Porsche 718 Cayman.
As well as a potent power unit, Toyota is promising the GR Yaris will also come with handling to match the straight-line speed. The company says the car’s specially developed platform and lightweight construction combine to provide “dynamic balance”. And that’s exactly what it will have to provide, as the car is set to be a street-legal predecessor of a future Toyota World Rally Championship competition car, in a move the company says will revive the “spirit and excitement” of past competition homologation models.
Full specifications for the road car have not yet been confirmed, but customers in the UK will get a choice of two trim levels. The ‘basic’ GR Yaris will come with a price tag of £29,995, while the GR Yaris Circuit Pack will command an RRP of £33,495. We don’t yet know what each of those will entail, but would-be customers can sign up to Toyota’s ‘Keep Me Informed’ service, which will provide updates as and when they are published by the manufacturer.
Toyota is yet to confirm a date for the opening of the order books, simply saying the car will go on sale “later in the year”. However, we would expect dealers to start taking orders late this summer or perhaps in the autumn.