The highly anticipated homologation-special hot hatch has been a talking point over the recent months for car enthusiasts. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen a small pocket rocket. It seems that UMW Toyota heard our calls and officially unveiled the Toyota GR Yaris for the Malaysian market. Launching beside the Vios GR-S, it was clear that the GR Yaris stole the show.
Given Malaysia’s love for the hatchback, it was clear that the GR Yaris will eventually make it onto our shores no matter what. Though, Toyota Malaysia did tease a photo of the GR Yaris five months ago and we’ve been speculating the price to be around the RM300,000 ever since. The price may be a big ask for someone who doesn’t know how special the GR Yaris will be, so let’s shed some light on the matter.
About the GR Yaris
The GR Yaris is built from scratch and designed to win at highest levels according to Toyota. It is Toyota’s second GR model, following the launch of the GR Supra in 2018. It’s so unique and unlike it’s entry-level Yaris cousin that it only shares the front and rear tail lamps. The roofline is 91mm lower than the ordinary Yaris, giving the rally boys much more aerodynamic shell to work with. It’s also 55mm wider, to accommodate the significantly beefier rear end.
As a true motorsport’s enthusiast, Toyota President’s Akio Toyoda, wanted a proper sports car made purely by Toyota. It was actually his personal ambition over the past 20 years. The development team worked closely with Tommi Mäkinen Racing to better understand how their goals could be achieved. They wanted an ideal combination of rigid, lightweight construction, an agile and responsive chassis and a powerful yet compact turbo engine.
How They Constructed The GR Yaris
The GR Yaris uses the new Yaris’ platform while having the rear end adapted from the CH-R. As being lightweight was a key element of the car, the GR Yaris received aluminium body panels while the roof received a forged carbon composite treatment. Even with a permanent GR-FOUR all-wheel drive system, this kept the weight down to 1,280kg. The GR Yaris Circuit Pack equips the car with lightweight forged alloy wheels further reducing the car’s overall weight.
The engine is also all-new and all Toyota, a 1.6-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged unit. It is the world’s most powerful three-cylinder engine. Producing 261 hp and 360 Nm of torque, launching the GR Yaris from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.5 seconds, and on to an electronically limited top speed of 230 km/h. The motorsport derived Yaris includes a ball bearing turbocharger, large-diameter exhaust valves and multi-jet oil piston cooling.
The Specifications of the GR Yaris
The front suspension setup adapts a MacPherson strut and gets a 4-pot brake caliper while the rear receives a double wishbone setup with forged BBS 18″ alloys. Despite being a road-legal rally car, the Motomachi-built GR Yaris has Toyota’s Safety Sense (TSS) as standard. Front and rear Torsen LSD are also equipped, as Malaysian units are all Performance Packs.
Local units offered will be in Platinum White Pearl, Emotional Red II or Precious Black. Priced at RM299,000.00 OTR without insurance. We’d love to see how the GR Yaris will cope with the current crop of hot hatches.
Written by | Danial Malek
Images by | Toyota