Born from the hellfire of the World Rally Championship (WRC) and now bred for the road, UMW Toyota Motor has officially introduced the GR Toyota Yaris for the Malaysian market.
Limited units (less than 200) of this hot-blooded all-wheel drive hot hatch have been allocated for the Malaysian market, priced at RM299,000 OTR excluding insurance inclusive of top-of-the-range Performance Pack Edition being made available for the Malaysian market.
With the production of the GR Yaris starting at the tail end of August (at Toyota’s Motomachi plant in Japan); Malaysia is amongst the earliest markets to receive the GR Yaris. The GR Yaris is the most high profile car to emerge after the European-made GR A90 Toyota Supra – but unlike the Supra which shares its underpinnings with the BMW Z4, the GR Yaris is a ground-up creation of Toyota’s skunkworks motorsport’s division Gazoo Racing.
Toyota engineered the GR Yaris purely as a purpose-built rally car with its sights firmly set on competing at World Rally Championship (WRC) before reverse engineering it into a road-going high-performance hot hatch which it did with the technical help Tommi Mäkinen Racing. The GR Yaris is Toyota’s first homologation model for the WRC since the Celica GT-Four was last produced in 1999.
Starting from the ground up, designers and engineers were able to focus on perfecting the aerodynamics, weight distribution and lightweight construction of the car. The result was a lower roofline to enhance the GR Yaris’ aerodynamic performance; which gave birth to the unique three-door body shell made from lightweight materials including carbon fibre polymer and aluminium, to deliver an impressive power-to-weight ratio, while the new platform allows for a wider rear track and new double-wishbone rear suspension system.
Aside from its three-door architecture and wide and low stance - the GR Yaris features a wide front bumper fascia replete with large front openings for the engine cooling while vertical intakes on both sides of the front bumper function to cool the brakes. The top carved edges of the front bumper also function as canards for better aero efficiency.
Moving towards the rear, the GR Yaris gets a tapered roof and rear pillars in addition to a deep, high-mounted GR spoiler to enhance its overall downforce. Round the flanks, the GR Yaris is fitted with 18" inch BBS forged alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot 4S 225/40R18 tyres - exclusive to the Performance Pack Edition.
On the inside, the simplistic cockpit is centred around providing the driver with the bare essentials of comfort, while minimizing unnecessary weight – a lightweight but highly-rigid seat frame for the front seats is wrapped in black leather, the rear features black leather seats. The car gets a bespoke GR three-spoke leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel while the overall interior is finished in black with smoke silver trim details. Infotainment comes in the form of a 7” inch capacitive touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
Separately, drilled aluminium sports pedals designed with a wider surface make it easier to switch between pedals during driving - the pedal position, pad angle and pressing angle has also been calculated in line with the driver’s hip point to gain the best possible controllability.
Under the hood is a G16E-GTS 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder unit that outputs a screaming 261PS and 360Nm of torque, making it the lightest and most powerful three-pot petrol engine in production. In addition, to optimise weight distribution, GR even positioned transverse motor as far back as possible and relocated the battery to the rear.
Power is sent exclusively to a 6-speed manual transmission before being distributed to all four wheels through the GR-Four AWD system. A high-response hydraulic coupling manages the front and rear torque split – the driver can select between three different drive modes that augment the torque split front to rear: Normal (60:40), Sport (30:70) and Track (50:50). The Performance Pack Edition also sees the GR Yaris fitted with a Torsen limited-slip differential (LSD).
The suspension has been tuned by the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team; with suspension geometry and settings defined to maximize tyre grip. The front anti-roll bar of the Performance Pack Edition is thicker and the diameter of the front suspension spring increased for greater stability and agility.
Stopping power comes in the form of 356mm ventilated two-piece brake discs with a four-piston red aluminium GR callipers at the front, and 297mm ventilated discs with a two-piston aluminium red GR callipers at the rear. The GR Yaris is also fitted with a mechanical hand-operated parking brake for “extreme cornering”.
Though a sports car it may be – the GR Yaris offers a comprehensive vehicle safety suite which includes the following:
Vehicle Telematics System is available as an optional accessory, priced at RM2,000.
In commemorating the launch of the GR Yaris, UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd is also offering an Early Bird Package that will see buyers of the GR Yaris receiving an exclusive helmet bag, a GR Yaris scale model and undergoing a GR Yaris Driving Experience in 2021, the combined package of which is worth RM5,000.00. The aforementioned Performance Pack Edition also carries a special number plate to indicate its exclusivity.
The GR Yaris is available in three signature colours: Platinum White Pearl, Emotional Red 2 and Precious Black. The GR Yaris comes fully-backed by a five-year warranty 5 years warranty from the date of first registration with unlimited mileage (terms and conditions apply).