5 things you need to know about the Toyota GR Yaris
Ever since Toyota re-entered WRC, we all have wanted a WRC car from them and now, it is coming. Ladies and Gentleman, now the first true WRC homologation special by the Japanese manufacturer is on its way and it is in the shape of a Yaris. It will be called GR Yaris, and here are 5 things we know so far about it.
It will be a 4WD super-mini
The Yaris GR was first teased as the Yaris GR-4. We were excited by seeing the teaser and now Toyota's first WRC homologation special could be round the corner. There is a reason for our excitement because since 1990s, we haven't seen a proper WRC homologation. Till the 1990s cost-saving rules were introduced to remove the obligation for manufacturers to build a set number of road-going examples of their competition cars but since then we all have been devoid of such special cars but now the GR Yaris is here. It will be all-wheel drive and ahem, have a manual gearbox. Can life get better than this?
Tommi Mäkinen has had a say in it
As many Toyota faithfuls will know, has served as team boss of the Toyota world rally team and he has had quite a say in this. Apart from objectives like aerodynamics, weight, stiffness and weight distribution, a major objective has been weight saving. This is where Tommi comes. He suggested that the roofline should be 95mm lower than a regular Yaris. There is also a new three-door shell which is almost completely different from that of the new five-door Yaris. The shell is stiffer, lighter, and allows greater aerodynamics. The engine is also mounted 21mm further back to improve weight distribution.
It will be a spiritual successor to the Celica GT-Four
Toyota has already given us the Supra, while the fact that whether ot not it is as good as we wanted it to be is highly debatable, the Supra has been a car JDM fans have been craving for. Ever since the Supra came, we all have had the simple thought, "We got a Supra, now we need a Celica". Now that thought will come true as this car will reportedly be the Celica GT-Four's spiritual successor.
The engine is powerful and light
Toyota has claimed that the 3 cylinder engine in this will produce 275bhp. While that makes it the most powerful three-pot on the market, there still could be more to come from it because we know that Toyota can further tune this engine and give us around 300 horsepower. Gazoo Racing (Toyota's motorsport division) has claimed that this is the the world’s lightest 1.6. While the GR Yaris does have a permanent four-wheel drive, but Toyota has not used a heavy center diff arrangement.The GR Yaris will feature a clutch pack diff at each end, capable of delivering up to 100 per cent of the engine’s torque to either axle. That makes it light and power-effcient.
Toyota has done some serious research to make it perfect
While talking to EVO magazine, Akihiko Saito the Chief Engineer told them that WRC drivers like 2019 champion Ott Tänak, Jari-Matti Latvala, and Kris Meeke have all has a go in it. He also said that engineers pulled apart Focus RSs, Audi S1s and Lancer Evos, and have driven these cars as well. This means that the GR Yaris will be one great super-mini and I can't wait to see it at its launch at the 2020 Tokyo Auto Salon.