Toyota Squeezes 257bhp From GR..rrrr Yaris

Toyota’s rally championship winning Yaris has come to the road boasting a whopping 257bhp for a car that began life as a micro-mini urban shopper.

Now world’s away from the original’s 1.0-liter three-cylinder motor first seen in 1999, the new Toyota GR Yaris boasts a beefy 1.6-liter engine honed in the heat of competition winning the World Rally Championship (WRC) under Toyota’s racing partners Toyota Gazoo Racing and Tommi Mäkinen Racing taking the manufacturers’ title in 2018 and the drivers’ title last year with Ott Tänak. As well as serving as the official homologation model for development of the next Yaris WRC car, it also has all the attributes required for owners looking to compete successfully in local rally competitions.

While still a three-cylinder format, the 1,618cc powerplant is turbocharged also boasts 265ft-lbs of torque thanks to motorsport technologies, including multi-oil jet piston cooling, large-diameter exhaust valves and a part-machined intake port. Compact and lightweight, the DOHC 12-valve engine features a single-scroll ball-bearing turbo and is matched to a six-speed manual transmission.

Its chief performance strength is a healthy power-to-weight ratio aided by lightweighting of the chassis components including carbon fiber polymer for the roof, that can be compression molded, and aluminum hood, doors and tailgate resulting in a curb weight of 1,280kg (2,816lbs).

The car claims a 0-62mph sprint time of under 5.5 seconds and is electronically limited top speed of 143mph and for those performance junkies who want a bit more there’s the optional Circuit Pack which adds a Torsen limited-slip differential on both the front and rear axle, performance-tuned suspension and 18-inch forged alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4s 225/40R18 tires.

Presenting the GR Yaris at the 2020 Tokyo Auto Salon, Gazoo Racing president Shigeki Tomoyama said: “One of Toyota Gazoo Racing’s commitments is to use motorsport to refine its know-how and its personnel, with the aim of launching world-class production sports cars. While the new GR Supra is a sports car developed through track racing, the GR Yaris has been devised through our participation in rallies – something that many of our fans have been waiting for.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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