Toyota invests in performance brand with GR Yaris

TOYOTA Australia has revealed a significant investment in its emerging GR brand, with customers of the 200kW GR Yaris set to reap a substantial bottom-line benefit when the high performance sports hatch arrives in November.

The GR Yaris will storm onto the local market as a single, high specification grade with an introductory drive away price of $39,950, with that offer limited to the first 1,000 vehicles sold. Pre-orders kick off at midday (AEST) on September 23.

“This substantial local financial commitment for the first 1,000 vehicles will advance our budding GR brand, accelerate the acceptance of GR Yaris on Australian roads and convert enthusiast customers into brand advocates,” Toyota Australia VP of sales and marketing, Sean Hanley said.

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“It is a smart local investment that will ignite the market with an attainable pure-bred sports car that would otherwise carry a recommended retail price of $49,500,” he added.

“Our no-holds-barred strategy will ensure GR Yaris appeals to an even greater number of fans as a genuine sports car that lives up to Toyota’s promise of making ever better cars that are fun to drive.”

Mr Hanley also announced the introduction of a limited-edition GR Yaris Rallye in the first half of next year, with upgrades that make it an even more focused, high speed performance package designed for circuit racing.

“The GR Yaris is the first all Toyota sports car developed in more than 20 years, the car our global president Akio Toyoda dreamed of making,” Mr Hanley said.

“It was born from our success in the heat of motor sport, developed by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing in collaboration with Tommi Mäkinen Racing, our title winning World Rally Championship (WRC) team,” he added.

“This partnership has brought motor sport design and technology directly to GR Yaris, which is our first homologation model for WRC competition since the end of production of the Celica GT-Four in 1999.”

Mr Hanley said the GR Yaris, as a high-performance thoroughbred with 200kW on tap, a power-to-weight ratio of 156kW per tonne and 0-100km/h acceleration in 5.2 seconds, is a class above hot hatches in the light and small-car segments.

“The GR Yaris will compete head-to-head against pure performance cars such as the Honda Civic Type R, VW Golf R and Renault Megane RS with price tags of $50,000 or higher,” he said.

“At the same time, it will have a significant performance advantage over conventional hot hatches, while competing against them on price.”

The GR Yaris will be the second TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (GR) model available in the Australian market, joining the GR Supra which was launched last year.

With high power and low weight, it has all the credentials for competition success, and for delivering exhilarating performance with an ideal combination of speed, responsiveness and handling.

Every aspect 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.

A unique three-door body, available in white, red or black exterior paint, is made from lightweight materials including carbon-fibre polymer for the roof and aluminium for the bonnet, doors and tailgate.

The new, dedicated platform combines the front end of Toyota’s GA-B platform, which debuted in this year’s new Yaris, with the rear of the GA-C platform used in Corolla.

This allows for a new multi-link rear suspension system, a wider track and accommodation of the GR-Four all-wheel drive system.

Power is delivered by a new compact and lightweight 200kW/370Nm 1.6-litre 3-cylinder engine that features a single scroll ball bearing turbo.

Motorsport technologies designed for maximum performance include multi-oil jet piston cooling, large diameter exhaust valves and a part machined intake port.

The DOHC 12-valve engine is mated to an intelligent six speed manual gearbox, engineered to accommodate high torque levels.

Performance brakes are 356mm x 28mm ventilated front discs with four pot callipers and 297mm x 18mm ventilated rear discs with two pot calipers. The system has been engineered to cope with rigorous demands of high-speed track driving.

Standard equipment includes a comprehensive Toyota Safety Sense package, auto air-conditioning, key-less smart entry and start, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and 8-speaker JBL sound system.

The GR Yaris is also fitted with a rear spoiler, sports seats with suede and leather accents, aluminium pedals and dual exhaust tips.

Next year’s GR Yaris Rallye, which will be limited to just 250 examples, promises an even richer experience for enthusiasts who want to take their cars to the track.

Its performance upgrades include circuit tuned suspension, Torsen limited-slip differentials on the front and rear axles, 18-inch BBS forged alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres and red brake calipers. Pricing for that model is yet to be determined.

Mick Glenn
Mick Glenn
Mick is a car fanatic, with petrol pumping through his veins. With a deep love for cars, and what makes them tick, Mick likes things that go fast, very fast. But he also appreciates a Sunday cruise in the Rolls...... who are we kidding, he'd drive the wheels off that too.


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