In the realm of high-performance hatchbacks, the Toyota GR Yaris stands as a legendary figure, and it has just received a series of enhancements that aim to elevate its driving experience to new heights. Over the past three years, since the initial production rolled off the line, the GR Yaris has undergone meticulous upgrades, embodying the relentless pursuit of excellence that Toyota is renowned for. The result? A more powerful, more responsive, and ultimately more thrilling driving machine.
At the core of the GR Yaris experience is its bespoke chassis, and this has undergone further reinforcement to ensure an unparalleled driving feel. Step inside, and you’ll find that the cockpit layout and driving position have been meticulously redesigned to provide a genuine sports car ambience, whether you’re navigating urban roads or pushing the limits on the track. The suspension – a critical component of any performance vehicle – has also undergone adjustments, fine-tuned for enhanced handling control and robust performance under high loads. Revised spring rates and a reinforced front shock absorber assembly contribute to a more dynamic and engaging driving experience.
One of the most notable updates is the introduction of an automatic transmission option, broadening the appeal of the GR Yaris to a wider audience of driving enthusiasts. Developed through rigorous testing in professional motorsports, the new automatic transmission has been put through its paces by the TGR World Rally Team drivers in diverse conditions, including the demanding Japanese Rally Championship and the Toyota GAZOO Racing Rally Challenge. The result is a transmission that not only meets but exceeds expectations, offering durability and reliability in the most challenging environments.
The eight-speed automatic transmission features optimised control software for dynamic driving, intuitively anticipating gear shifts based on the driver’s operation of the accelerator and brakes. Constructed with highly heat-resistant friction material in the clutch and close gear ratios, it maximises the engine’s power band, delivering lightning-fast and seamless shifts.
Complementing the automatic transmission is an increase in maximum engine outputs for the GR Yaris’ dynamic 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine. Power has been boosted from 200kW to an impressive 224kW at 6500rpm, with torque also getting a significant bump by 30Nm to 400Nm from 3250-4600rpm. Power is channeled to all four wheels with selectable torque distribution and a new drive mode select system, allowing drivers to tailor the electronic power steering, air conditioning, and powertrain settings to their preferences.
Aesthetically, the GR Yaris has received visual upgrades both inside and out. The dashboard and multimedia screen have been tilted towards the driver by 15 degrees, enhancing operability and driver-centric design. Additionally, safety and convenience have been elevated with the inclusion of additional active safety features and Toyota Connected Services, ensuring occupant protection and connectivity.
In essence, the refreshed GR Yaris encapsulates everything that made its predecessor a triumph, only amplified. It is poised not just to compete but to set itself even further ahead of the competition. While details for local introduction in South Africa are yet to be disclosed, the anticipation is palpable, and enthusiasts can expect further revelations at an opportune time. The fabled GR Yaris has evolved, and it’s ready to redefine the standards of high-performance hatchbacks once again.