Toyota SA might introduce Yaris GR

Toyota South Africa teased local car enthusiasts in 2018 with the introduction of three Yaris GRMN models making their way into the company’s local marketing fleet.

A select few managed to get behind the wheel and the Autodealer teams were amongst the fortunate. The car was hailed as one of the best driven that year. Now though there is a new Yaris and it too has been to Gazoo Racing, here is what you need to know.

The Yaris GR is a car born from Toyota’s title-winning experience in the World Rally Championship (WRC). Forged from success in the heat of competition, the Toyota GR Yaris brings motorsport technology and design directly to the world of the road car. The GR Yaris has a unique three-door body design and a roof which has been lowered by 91mm. At the front, the grille design and spoiler express the car’s authentic GR status, while at the rear the wide tread and muscular wings accommodate 18-inch alloy wheels.

This new car, however, makes use of an all-new, three-cylinder turbocharged unit that benefits from motorsport technologies to maximise performance, including multi-oil jet piston cooling, large-diameter exhaust valves and a part-machined intake port. It produces 200 kW and 370 N.m of torque which results in the car’s power-to-weight ratio of 156kW/tonne and helps deliver a 0-100 km/h acceleration in less than 5.5 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 230 km/h.

One of the biggest performance updates apart from the new engine is how the car puts the power to the road. The GR Yaris features a new GR-FOUR AWD system designed to optimise drive power to each wheel, while also being simple and lightweight. The distribution of torque between the front and rear axles is governed by a high-response coupling. This ingenious system uses slightly different gear ratios for the front and rear axles and allows for a theoretical range of front/rear torque balance from 100:0 (full front-wheel drive) to 0:100 (full rear-wheel drive). This flexibility gives a performance advantage over other AWD on-demand systems.

Will we see the Yaris GR in South African showrooms? Well, Toyota South Africa is currently reviewing the possibility of introducing it and have not confirmed nor denied its arrival.

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