Toyota has unveiled an upgrade for the rally-bred GR Yaris hot hatch at the Tokyo Auto Salon, with an increase in power and torque, a renewed driver-focused cockpit, and the debut of an eight-speed DirectShift automatic transmission.
Previously only available with a six-speed intelligent manual transmission, the GR Yaris now offers broader appeal for driving enthusiasts with the introduction of the automatic option, which has been developed through hardcore use in professional motorsport.
TGR World Rally Team drivers put the new automatic transmission to the test on a range of road surfaces, including in the Japanese Rally Championship and Toyota GAZOO Racing Rally Challenge to help make the new transmission as durable and reliable as possible.
The new transmission’s control software has been optimised for dynamic driving, delicately sensing the driver’s operation of the accelerator and brakes to anticipate gear shifts before vehicle behaviour changes, providing incredibly fast and intuitive shifting.
Constructed using highly heat-resistant friction material in the clutch, with close ratios that make the most of the engine’s power band, it complements improvements to the 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine.
Power has been increased from 200kW to 224kW, with torque boosted to 400Nm. Both continue to be deployed to all four wheels, with selectable torque distribution and a new drive mode select system.
The latter adjusts the electronic power steering, air conditioning and powertrain settings in accordance with user preferences. Visual upgrades inside and out have been added to the GR Yaris too.
These include tilting the dashboard and multimedia screen towards the driver by 15 degrees to aid operability. Safety has also been improved with additional active safety features and Toyota Connected Services.
Further information on the new rally-bred GR Yaris will be shared closer to Australian model production commencing late 2024.