The carmaker says all of this is the result of lessons learned during Gazoo Racing's recent stint at the World Rally Championships (WRC), and it's apparent. No word yet on whether the hot hatch is destined for South Africa... Toyota created this bespoke three-door body just so that they can have a better base for their 2021 Yaris WRC auto. The rally team - and the drivers - are going to love it.
Starting off with its cool exterior, the GR Yaris gets a rally-inspired look courtesy of a sporty front bumper featuring a large air intake. The team also devised reinforcements beneath the side members to ensure the suspension's performance potential can be realised. Iconic models such as the Audi Sport Quattro were built simply to go rallying: it is already a sure-fire collectable and we await its launch with relish as potentially one of the most exciting real-world performancecars of 2020. It even has frameless doors, just like a coupe. At the front the grille design and spoiler express the car's authentic GR status, while at the rear the wide tread and muscular wings accommodate 18-inch alloy wheels.
For a better chassis balance, the new 3-cylinder 1.6-liter turbo DOHC 12-valve engine is placed back towards the center, and the battery is located in the trunk. Displacing 1,618 cm3, it produces a maximum 261 DIN hp/192 kW and 360 Nm of torque.
Hooked up to what's said to be the lightest and most powerful production 1.6L engine around is a six-speed manual gearbox.
Here's the deal. To us, the GR Yaris is the spiritual successor to the famous Celica GT-Four from the 80s/90s. The roof, on the other hand, is made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic to further save on weight while making the roof more durable.
Aluminium is used for the bonnet, doors and tailgate. A center coupling distributes torque between front and rear axles, with different gear ratios for either. And now, we get this, a permanent four-wheel drive system?
Speaking of the GR-Four, the system can be adjusted to suit the driver's preference or the conditions of the terrain using a 4WD mode dial switch.
The GR Yaris has a new, dedicated platform that combines the front end of Toyota's GA-B platform - debuting in the all new Yaris model in 2020 - with the rear of the GA-C platform. All-wheel drive, 250 hp and new technology highlights the hatchback's motorsport character.
Theoretically, the all-wheel drive system allows for power to be shifted 100 per cent to either the front or rear wheels. Grooved 356mm brakes with four-piston calipers are standard.
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