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New hot Yaris gets 261hp. Image by Toyota.

New hot Yaris gets 261hp
Four-wheel drive and trick chassis for rapid Toyota Yaris GR.
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2020-11-10: First drive: Toyota Yaris GR
2020-09-25: Driven: Toyota Yaris Hybrid
2020-03-05: Yaris GR to cost from £30k, says Toyota

What's this then?

This is the new Toyota Yaris GR.

Yawn. Another hybrid, I expect?

Ummmm... not as such, no. It's actually a four-wheel-drive, lightweight, partially hand-made, 261hp, rally homologation special.

Excuse me?

You're excused. This is Toyota's push for both rallying success (the GR will, obviously, form the basis of Toyota's World Rally Championship car this year) and on-road hot hatch glory. This car has an amazing mechanical specification.

Do tell.

OK, so that 261hp (and 260Nm of torque) comes from a new 1.6-litre turbo three-cylinder engine. That drives all four wheels through a selectable four-wheel-drive system that allows the driver to pick and choose how much torque gets sent to the front and back wheels. There's a proper six-speed manual gearbox and even a mechanical handbrake.

The chassis is actually made by joining the front end of the new Yaris hatchback with the back of the old one, allowing Toyota to fit double-wishbone rear suspension. The body gets massively beefy wheel arches and wings, but it's also a three-door (for extra stiffness - the regular Yaris is a five-door) and the roof has been lowered by 91mm for better aero. The brakes are massive 356mm items with four-pot callipers.

On top of all that, Toyota has made the roof from carbon fibre and the doors, bonnet and tailgate from aluminium, saving weight and keeping the Yaris GR's mass down to 1,280kg.

Crikey. It'll be quick, then?

Oh. Flipping. Yes. Toyota says 5.5 seconds for 0-62mph, with a top speed of 142mph. And if that's not enough, you can have an optional Track Pack that adds Torsen differentials to the front and rear axles, as well as performance-tuned suspension and 18-inch forged alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S 225/40R18 tyres.

When can I have one?

Not sure yet, but soon enough. Form an orderly queue...

Neil Briscoe - 10 Jan 2020

2020 Toyota Yaris GR. Image by Toyota.2020 Toyota Yaris GR. Image by Toyota.2020 Toyota Yaris GR. Image by Toyota.2020 Toyota Yaris GR. Image by Toyota.2020 Toyota Yaris GR. Image by Toyota.

2020 Toyota Yaris GR. Image by Toyota.2020 Toyota Yaris GR. Image by Toyota.2020 Toyota Yaris GR. Image by Toyota.2020 Toyota Yaris GR. Image by Toyota.2020 Toyota Yaris GR. Image by Toyota.    - Toyota road tests
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