Motoring News

Toyota GR Yaris – More of this hot-hatch icon

Image: Toyota SA

CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Toyota says its GR Yaris, launched in 2021, has achieved worldwide acclaim for its combination of performance, driver engagement, and motorsport-infused pedigree which won awards including global Car of the Year and Performance Car of the Year trophies.

Now the automaker has heeded potential buyers worldwide by extending production and availability of the new model. So, a second (limited) allocation of GR Yaris units is on the way.

However, the line-up has been reduced to one model – the ‘top-spec’ Rally variant equipped with a Torsen limited-slip differential (front and rear), performance-tuned suspension, revised power-steering assistance and 18″ BBS forged alloy wheel rims wrapped by Michelin Pilot Sport 4s tyres.


Standard spec includes keyless entry/push start, diode headlights, daytime running and auto fog lights, heatable and power-retracting exterior mirrors, and rain-sensing wipers. An auto-dimming cabin rear-view mirror, dual-zone, aircon, info display, 12V power socket and a tilt/telescopic steering column.

A six-speaker touchscreen audio system uses Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality for smartphones, Bluetooth, and USB inputs.

New for 2022 are a reversing camera and rear parking radar.

For readers who missed the first announcement the cars have a unique design with a three-door body and lower roof which create a coupe silhouette, frameless doors add to the coupe look and improve aerodynamics.


The grille and spoiler claim to express the car’s “authentic GR status featuring the signature GR functional matrix design”.

Cooling air is fed to the radiator, intercooler and engine compartment through a large, rectangular lower grille with a wide honeycomb mesh inset. The grille is flanked by large vertical inlets for the brake duct and intercooler, with circular LED fog lights positioned at the far edges of the bumper.

The prominent lower spoiler has a downforce-generating shape, with a raised centre section that controls the flow of air beneath the vehicle. At the rear, the tapering of the roof and rear pillars and the addition of the deep, high-mounted spoiler, enhance downforce and aerodynamic performance.


The GR’s three-cylinder, turbocharged, engine leans towards motorsport withlarge-diameter exhaust valves and a part-machined intake port. It displaces 1618cc and can make 198kW @ 6500rpm and 360Nm from between 3000-4600 rpm.

The engine spins a six-speed manual transmission to drive all four wheels through slightly different gear ratios for each axle. There’s a double wishbone set-up at the rear with every element optimised for performance. The front has a McPherson strut system.

The cat’s performance braking system has 356mm grooved front discs with four-pot calipers and a suite of active and passive safety features that includes ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, VSC and Hill Assist Control and a four-wheel tyre pressure monitor system.


Toyota GR Yaris Rally – R761 200.

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