GR Yaris comes to Mzansi
The Rally Car for the Road
GR Yaris comes to Mzansi
The Rally Car for the Road, the Toyota Gazoo Racing Yaris, has streaked onto South African roads, instantly becoming the most desired, drooled-over and dreamed about hot hatch on the market.
The GR Yaris is not simply a Yaris with a bigger engine shoehorned under the bonnet, as most hot hatches are: no, the GR Yaris is the result of the design and engineering skills of Toyota Gazoo Racing and Tommi Mäkinen Racing, Toyota’s partner in the WRC.
As an example of how this vehicle differentiates from the normal Yaris, it has 259 more weld points than the standard car, making it stronger and more rigid for dynamic performance. Every aspect of the car has a performance focus: an all-new platform and engine, new suspension, lightweight construction, aerodynamic styling and a new GR-Four permanent all-wheel drive system. It is Toyota’s first genuine all-wheel drive sports car and its first homologation model for World Rally Championship competition since the end of production of the Celica GT-Four in 1999. It is, in short, quite special.
The turbocharged engine is 1.6-litres in capacity and has just three cylinders, but produces a maximum output of 198kW at 6500 rpm and 360Nm of torque between 3000 and 4600 rpm. While there are more powerful cars on the road, the GR Yaris stands out for its phenomenal power-to-weight ratio of 0,154kW per kg, thanks to the low kerb weight of just 1280kg. This means it can accelerate from 0 -100km/h in just 5.5 seconds, while the top speed is limited to 230km/h. A six-speed manual gearbox was engineered specifically for the GR Yaris, able to cope with the high torque demands but still offering a quick shift.
The GR Yaris looks the part too, with a wide, lowered stance and coupe-like three door profile. The big black grille and front spoiler emphasise the racing credentials, but perhaps the biggest statement comes from the flared rear.
The focus on driver enjoyment can be felt in the interior as well, where the gear lever is positioned high, close at hand for the driver, and the sporty 3-spoke steering wheel is reminiscent of those found in racing cars.
Two models are available in the GR Yaris range. The standard model, if it can be called that, has all the core performance items, and is aimed at the regular user with an 'on-road' bias. Then there's the Rally model, which is fitted with a Circuit Pack. This equips the car with a Torsen limited-slip differential on both the front and rear axle, performance-tuned suspension, revised power-steering assistance and an upgrade to 18-inch BBS forged alloy wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 4s tyres.
In addition to the mechanical upgrades, the Rally model also boasts combination leather/Alcantara sports seats in the front with enhanced bolstering, leather rear seats, Heads-up Display (HUD), the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) active safety suite and Active Noise Control. Active Noise Control amplifies the engine sound by cancelling out opposing frequencies - adding a vocal soundtrack.
The GR Yaris is priced at R606 000 and the Toyota GR Yaris Rally is priced at R715 600. All GR Yaris models are sold with a 9-services/90 000km service plan (intervals set at 10 000 km) and 3-year/100 000km warranty. Customers can also purchase a variety of service and/or warranty add-ons at their local dealership.