• South African introduction planned for mid-2021.
• Will join GR Supra in Toyota's GR product portfolio.
• First turbocharged AWD Toyota in SA History.
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After many spy shots, rumours and questions, Toyota South Africa announced that it would bring the GR Yaris to the local market in mid-2021. The car takes massive inspiration from Toyota Gazoo Racing's WRC (World Rally Championship) programme. It is the first all-Toyota sports car and the company's first homologation model for WRC competition since the Celica GT-Four in 1999.
Toyota says that the GR Yaris brings motorsport technology directly to the road car through a combination of its design and engineering expertise in motorsport.
The GR Yaris is powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine that produces 200kW and 370Nm. This engine is the world's most potent three-cylinder powerplant and is mated to a new GR-Four permanent all-wheel-drive system. Thanks to an impressive power-to-weight ratio of 156kW/tonne, the car can go from 0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds. Top speed is rated at 230km/h.
A six-speed manual gearbox sends power to the wheels.
Toyota says that the lightweight, compact 200kW turbo engine adopts motorsport technologies to deliver an exhilarating drive experience, including multi oil-jet piston cooling, machined intake ports and large-diameter exhaust valves. It is also equipped with direct and port fuel-injection, high-speed combustion, a single scroll ball-bearing turbocharger, an aluminium oil cooler and a large-capacity water pump and air cleaner.
The GR Yaris has a new, dedicated platform that combines the front end of Toyota's GA-B platform (Yaris) with the rear of the GA-C platform (Corolla). This accommodates a new suspension design and GR-Four all-wheel-drive system, while aimed at contributing to the car's stability and handling. Driver-selectable AWD settings are Normal (directing 40% of available torque to the rear wheels), Track (50% to the rear wheels) and Sport (70% to the rear wheels). The system will adjust torque split automatically based on driver inputs, vehicle behaviour, and road or track conditions.
According to Toyota, every element of the new fully independent front and rear suspension setups has been optimised for performance, including high-response shock absorbers. Front MacPherson struts are more rigid than the five-door Yaris hatch with newly developed knuckles and stiffer bushes for maximum control and stability.
The local introduction is currently targeted as mid-2021, says Toyota SA. Detailed specifications, pricing and model line-up information will be released closer to introduction timing.