Toyota GR Yaris
Hot bouillon cube
Then what kind of hot box did Toyota put out there? After the Yaris, with its highly efficient hybrid drive, is positioned as an eco-speedster for the city, the GR Yaris thunders through woods and meadows in a drift with 261 hp and all-wheel drive.
While other automakers are purifying their offerings, combing through their portfolios and removing everything that does not generate significant volumes, things are completely different at Toyota. As a real high-tech stock cube, the new GR Yaris takes your breath away at racing speed, because the hot rally sling has little in common with the production model. To ensure that it is not a soft-washed sports version with a primary marketing objective, Toyota brought in the experts from Tommi Mäkinen Racing for the development of the racing roll. The team that is responsible for the World Rally Car based on the previous Yaris generation and the outings in the World Rally Championship. The development drivers included rally professionals Kris Meeke and Jari-Matti Latvala. So perfect drifts are guaranteed.
You can convince yourself of the success of this cooperation after a few kilometers behind the grippy leather steering wheel. The Gazoo Racing Yaris is the sharpest thing you can drive in this league. You don’t have to waste any more thought on the VW Polo GTI, Hyundai i20 N or Ford Fiesta ST. The GR Yaris differs from its tame namesake in the newly designed front and rear sections and an increase in width of six centimeters. For this, the vehicle height was lowered by 45 mm to 1.46 meters.
The gigantic difference to the Yaris in the series trim is not only due to the expertise of Toyota and the Finnish rally team, but also the level of technology that the developers have brought into the small energy bar. For this, the Yaris platform GA-B received additional rear axle components from the larger GA-C base, on which models such as Corolla and C-HR are on the move. So that the whole thing doesn’t get too heavy, numerous lightweight components such as aluminum or carbon have been used. In this small vehicle class, a roof made of both light and high-strength carbon fiber composite material would otherwise be an illusion. The GR Yaris is fired by a 1.6 liter three-cylinder turbo, which makes a lot of fun. Compactly built, it has an impressive 192 kW / 261 PS and a maximum torque of 360 Nm from 3,000 tours, which, with the slight support of a sound generator, sound even more impressive inside than they would anyway.
The little powerhouse is a true high-tech engine. For example, the cylinder board offers a turbocharger with single-scroll ball bearings via exhaust valves with a larger diameter, oil cooling of the piston crowns via multi-nozzles and a high-speed combustion process in the cylinders. The combustion process benefits from particularly effective intake ducts with more angled valves, eccentric valve seats and exhaust valves with an enlarged diameter, such as those used in racing. The shafts of the lightweight pistons improve fuel efficiency with lower-friction surfaces, while the main bearing optimizes the oil supply. This is how racing engines are built.
The chubby racer for road and unpaved rally paths is manual shifting, which is really good fun, not least due to the precise guidance of the individual gears and a crisp clutch. What makes the big difference to other fun-makers, however, is the fine sports chassis, as well as an all-wheel drive and Torsen clutch, which distributes its impressive engine power between the two axles depending on the driving program and the surface. The Toyota GR Yaris sprints from a standing start to 100 km / h in 5.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of a regulated 230 km / h. Unlike with its other models, this time Toyota is only looking at the thirst at the pump as a secondary issue. 8.3 liters per 100 kilometers is not very impressive. But if you prefer to save, you can always get into the tame Yaris Hybrid.
The drivability of the 4.00 meter small racer is impressive. Even in the normal driving program, the 1.6-liter engine, manual transmission and tight chassis shine, as do the well-contoured sports seats, which, however, were attached too high for tall drivers. The sporty, tight steering gives excellent feedback from the road and the front axle turns on with one. Despite all-wheel drive, drive forces can be felt when accelerating strongly, especially when cornering. The Torsen differential locks distribute the power perfectly for the most impressive propulsion possible. The track mode, which can be set on the center tunnel, divides the engine torque equally between the two axles in a 50:50 ratio. Perfect for a dry slope. The sports program directs 70 percent of the drive power to the rear wheels and gives the GR Yaris the characteristics of a rear-wheel drive, which is not just fun on snow and ice. The normal mode sends 60 percent of the power to the front and 40 percent to the rear axle – perfect for normal everyday use and to be admired at any time on a small mouse cinema between the round clocks, which should be bigger.
With all the high-tech equipment, the Toyota GR Yaris, which costs at least 32,363 euros, has slimmed down a lot. Despite the larger engine, a different chassis and the additionally driven rear axle, the Japanese has become lighter. The carbon fiber roof alone saves 3.5 kilograms at the highest point. The bonnet, tailgate and doors are made of aluminum, which saves a further 24 kilograms. Compared to its predecessor, the Gazoo Racing Yaris weighs 38 kilograms less. The driver can choose whether he wants to ride on the 18-inch series wheelset of the Toyota GR Yaris with Dunlop SP Sport tires in the size 225/40 R 18 or opt for the hot performance package and prepare for the circuit. Then the sportiest Yaris rolls on Michelin Pilot Sport high-speed tires on particularly light forged rims. The package also includes an adapted chassis setup with modified shock absorbers, stiffer spring rates and anti-roll bars with a larger cross-section, as well as a modified map for the electric power steering. Then training for the coming rally season can start immediately. And the best thing to do is to invest the nearly 4,400 euros for the hot performance package. It’s almost Christmas.