Drivers wanting to pre-order the new Toyota GR Yaris hot hatch can now reserve their car online, the Japanese car maker has announced. The high-performance supermini will arrive in the UK in October, and Toyota says its new online ordering service will allow customers to get their hands on one of the first cars despite current social distancing rules.

At present, the government’s lockdown measures mean car dealers can’t open their showroom doors to customers. However, Toyota’s new scheme will let customers order their car without having to visit a dealer.

Using a dedicated page on the Toyota website, customers can create a free account then select their GR Yaris’s colour and specification. After paying the £1,500 reservation fee, customers can then choose their preferred dealer with whom they can arrange finance, insurance and vehicle delivery.

Prospective customers will get a choice of two versions of the GR Yaris, both of which come with the same 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine. The three-cylinder motor will send 257 bhp to all four wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, permitting a 0-62 mph time of 5.5 seconds.

2020 Toyota GR Yaris

The ‘basic’ GR Yaris costs £29,995 and features a sporty bodykit, sports suspension and 18-inch alloy wheels. At the back, dual exhaust tailpipes poke out from under the rear bumper, combining with Toyota’s Active Noise Control technology to create what Toyota calls a “rousing exhaust note”.

Inside, the sports seats are trimmed with racecar-esque ‘Ultrasuede’ upholstery, while the steering wheel, handbrake and gear knob will all be wrapped in leather. Keyless entry and push-button ignition will feature as standard, too.

2020 Toyota GR Yaris

If you’re willing to spend £33,495, however, you can go for the GR Yaris Circuit Pack, which comes with lightweight components and even more performance parts. According to Toyota, it’s the specification for “drivers who want even sharper response and more precise handling”.

To that end, the Circuit Pack gets you 18-inch forged alloy wheels shod in Michelin Sport Pilot 4s tyres, as well as “circuit-tuned” GR suspension and two Torsen limited-slip differentials. And to mark the car out as the pinnacle of the GR Yaris range, it comes with red-painted brake callipers.

“GR Yaris is an authentic performance car in every dimension, created with direct input from Toyota Gazoo Racing and its World Rally Championship (WRC) partner Tommi Mäkinen Racing,” said Toyota in a statement. “Their design and engineering expertise is key to the car’s role as a homologation model for a future Toyota WRC contender.”

Gallery: 2020 Toyota GR Yaris