Toyota teases new GR Yaris hot hatch ahead of January debut

By Motoring Staff Time of article published Dec 11, 2019

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BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - Toyota has posted yet another video of its upcoming Yaris GR hot hatch (see below), while also confirming the date of its official reveal, which is set for January 10.

But the big question on everyone’s lips - what will power it? At this stage Toyota is remaining mum on that, but Japan’s Motor Magazine appears to have it on good authority that the hatch will be powered by a three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine. 

However, even more interesting are the widespread reports that the vehicle will come with all-wheel-drive and Toyota has all but confirmed this in an earlier teaser shot, which shows the GT-4 badge - so far the company has only given the ‘4’ badge to vehicles that actually have four-wheel-drive.

It remains to be seen, however, if the GR Yaris will ever make it to South Africa, especially since the local division has switched to importing the Asian market version of the Yaris, which is a completely different vehicle to the Euro-focused Yaris that forms the basis of this new GR.

That said, given the popularity of performance hatchbacks in SA, particularly in the larger Volkswagen Golf’s stable with GTI and R accounting for up to half of volumes, there is certainly a good argument for importing the Yaris GR separately alongside the conventional Asian models - that’s assuming, of course, that the pricing stars are able to align.

The new performance Yaris, which will likely compete with the VW Polo GTI and Mini Cooper S, will be the second production car to be created by the GR motorsport division, after the GR Supra.

The division had originally planned to unveil the GR Yaris at the Australian leg of the World Rally Championship in early December, but the devastating bush fires in the region put paid to those plans. Instead, the menacing new performance hatch will make its debut at the Tokyo Auto Salon on January 10.

“The GR Yaris has now completed its final stage of development and a prototype was recently pushed to its limits by Toyota’s global president Akio Toyoda, under his TGR Master Driver code name 'Morizo'", Toyota said in a statement.

“Toyota, through its TGR motorsport activities, is seeking to create ever-better cars and expand its passionate fan support by competing in a series of demanding races in a variety of categories on roads around the world.”

IOL Motoring

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