Toyota GR Yaris Thras… Driven 

Mary N

We reacquaint ourselves with the hugely lauded Toyota GR Yaris a calendar year after the overall performance hatch was launched into the community market place.

Toyota South Africa introduced a single of the best hatchbacks of new moments into the SA market about this time final yr. The GR Yaris was welcomed by performance fanatics, all keen to see if the minimal motor vehicle lived up to the hype it had garnered abroad. 

We attended the nationwide journey and drive event in Johannesburg and surrounds. We came away from the street travel and monitor time with a pretty favourable effect. The car or truck was even superior than we predicted. Even so, start events are tailored to highlight a car’s strengths and gloss about its weaknesses.

So how would the Toyota GR Yaris fare out in the planet, away from the smooth tar of a track or open highways and byways. It is the question we sought to solution when we expended a few times with the rally rep down in the Cape, exploring some of our favourite roadways.

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Tiny Packages

The Toyota GR Yaris is a key example of dynamite coming in little packages. The headline figures are extraordinary when you look at the resource. Peak electric power is rated as 198 kW along with 360 N.m of twist. The numbers are comparable with most sizzling hatches these times.

Even so, the G16E-GTS motor generates these figures from just 1,6 litres and three cylinders. The three-pot design was picked out, in section, to lessen mass. Bucking the pattern once again, Toyota matches the GR solely with a 6-speed handbook transmission while most automakers have moved to automatic solutions. And it is reasonably light-weight body weight, at about 1,3 tons, compared with most rivals.

The straight line efficiency figures aren’t wholly amazing, but if you evaluate your life a quarter mile at a time, this car or truck is possibly not for you. Formal stats say the pocket rocket can dash from -100 km/h in 5,5 seconds and has an electronically restricted best pace of 230 km/h.

Simply click in this article to examine about the Toyota GR Corolla Hatch that shares its engine with the Yaris.

Solitary Variant

A really small allocation of models created it into the nation when the GR Yaris was released previous calendar year. They had been divided into two styles: Rally and common versions. Demand from customers for the product led Toyota SA to bring in a second batch of units. This time they are all of the Rally variant. 

This indicates Torsen confined-slip differentials on both of those axles, overall performance-tuned suspension, revised electrical power-steering calibration and 18-inch BBS solid alloy wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Activity 4S tyres. You know, all the great stuff. But how does it translate on the street, we hear you check with.

Excellent Drives

There are good roads and there are wonderful vehicles, but fantastic drives appear from a mixture of the two. You wouldn’t just take a Bugatti Veyron on a rally phase and question why you are let down. In the very same way you should not consider the GR Yaris on an open up-highway blast and assume to be delighted.

Luckily there are an abundance of roadways on the Cape Peninsula that are preferably suited to this car’s strengths. Most would make excellent phases in my wishful WRC SA party. In excess of the class of a couple days we tried using many of them. 

Exciting Aspect 11

The Chapman’s Coastal blast, the Redhill Mountain cost, the Simon’s Town sprint, the Cecilia Forest evening phase and other, identical pieces of tar, is in which the GR excels. A dense corner count and limited radii is what this car was constructed for. The AWD method coupled with a small wheelbase would make for quite quick development. There is pretty much no understeer as the LSDs do the job in unison to apportion torque across every single axle, and support to turn the car about its vertical axis. 

In standard working torque is break up 60:40 front to rear. That changes dependent on the mode you decide on. Sport is 30:70 and Keep track of 50:50. So you get to choose the system’s reaction – good! There is a playfulness in the set-up that just one commonly does not encounter in an AWD equipment. Most come to feel tied down and eschew the enjoyable issue, but not the GR Yaris.

A Actual Driver’s Equipment

Rowing up and down the heavy, mechanical-sensation shifter is a real handle, usually skipped from fashionable effectiveness automobiles. The addition of a 3rd pedal also allows a person to practice the shed art of rev-matching, or heel-toe as some prefer. There is a swap that allows the European do the task, but if you have to activate it this car or truck is not truly for you.

Apparently, the GR Yaris is one particular of all those exceptional automobiles that allows the driver remaining-foot brake. It’s helpful for people who choose this driving method. Most car’s ECUs will minimize electric power if the whoa and go pedals are depressed at the same time. But not this Yaris. Oh, and there is a mechanical turnin… er, handbrake. Toyota was not messing close to with it both. Yank the lever and travel is disconnected from the rear wheels to whip the tail all over a lot quicker.

Click on listed here to read through about the manual GR Supra that is coming to SA.

Genuine Character

Although carefully engaged in the driving encounter, it is effortless to forget the powerplant sited among the entrance wheels. The turbocharged triple has oodles of character. It has a boosty mother nature and builds a lot of cost pressure from about 3 000 r/min. But it actually will get going north of 4 000. The charge from there to the redline is relentless and can catch you out the initial handful of occasions.

While the soundtrack is improved, it is nevertheless entertaining. The off-conquer thrum of the engine can make it appears similar to a very little Porsche 911. The ball-bearing turbo appears as while it is shredding air and there’s a sneaky wastegate sneeze when you shut the gas. 

It is also worth noting that there is a soldity to the package that feels as though the GR Yaris will just take a beating for lots of years to appear. The excess strengthening of the body shell, the strong gear change motion and hydraulically mounted motor give it the mechanical really feel of a Nissan GT-R. 


We truly did give the GR Yaris a excellent workout. During that time a handful of modest gripes came to our focus. The steering, while laser sharp, lacks appropriate sense. It has a nice meaty motion but you can not count on it to properly express front-conclude grip degrees. The brakes are incredibly powerful, and fade totally free, but they lack right development. You stomp and they get the job done, which is excellent when you are at utmost attack, not so considerably amongst rally sta, er… twisty sections of street. 


We are particularly happy to report that these original favourable impressions of the Toyota GR Yaris we fashioned a 12 months back still keep correct. If anything at all, they are even stronger now. This boisterous minor car is an absolute riot to generate. This could well be the most entertaining Toyota highway automobile we’ve at any time pushed. 

From the noises it makes to the way it feeds back again by way of the large-bolstered seats, you can tell that the GR Yaris was engineered by people who place driving pleasure very first and foremost. And for that, Toyota need to be lauded. 

Model: Toyota GR Yaris

Selling price: R761 200

Engine: 1,6-litre inline a few, turbocharged

Transmission: 6-pace manual, AWD

Max energy: 198 kW

Max torque: 360 N.m

-100 km/h: 5,5 seconds

Leading velocity: 230 km/h

Gas usage: 7,6 L/100 km

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