- Image: Toyota

Toyota makes a 118 hp GR Yaris that you can only buy in Japan

It's called the GR Yaris RS and it has a completely different drivetrain than the other GR Yaris models

4w ago

26.8K

After announcing the new GR Yaris for the European market (and also confirming that it won't come to North America, although North America might get its own exclusive GR hatch), Toyota has now revealed what the lineup will be for the Japanese domestic market. Whilst the European GR Yaris has two models, the Japanese market iteration has three different versions of the car. These models are designated RZ (which is essentially the same as the European-spec GR Yaris), RS and RC. The RS is the Japanese exclusive model I'm focusing on here (the RC is also exclusive to the Japanese market) and, whilst it looks fairly similar to the other GR Yaris models, it has some very significant differences when you go under the hood...

Image: Toyota

Image: Toyota

That significant difference compared to the RZ and RC models is that the RS has a completely different engine and gearbox. Instead of a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine developing 268 hp with that power going to all four wheels through a 6 speed manual gearbox, the RS has a naturally aspirated 1.5-litre engine sourced from the regular Yaris that only puts out 118 hp and that power goes to the rear wheels only through a Direct Shift CVT gearbox. The reason for this totally different drivetrain is so that the car is tamer than the other GR Yarises. Whilst that CVT gearbox might seem like a massive performance killer, Toyota has given it a launch gear for "powerful and responsive performance from low to high speed ranges" and paddleshifters for a more manual-style driving experience, should you want it.

Image: Toyota

Image: Toyota

Apart from the huge powertrain difference however, the rest of the car is very similar to the other GR Yaris models. This includes the GR-developed suspension, brakes and bodykit. Curiously the GR Yaris RS is lighter than the other models, weighing in at 1,130 kg (150 kg lighter than the RZ and RC). That lighter weight probably won't really make any difference though thanks to the much less powerful engine and CVT-style gearbox.

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Toyota has already opened pre-orders for the GR Yaris in Japan, although those pre-orders are only for two 'first edition' models (the RZ First Edition and RZ High Performance First Edition). These special pre-order only cars have matt black paint on the aerodynamic elements, an optional marble patterened carbon roof, "Emotional Colour Premium Sports Seats" (whatever that happens to be... it says premium sports seats, so it's probably worthwhile!) and a Morizo signature (the signature of the current president of Toyota Akio Toyoda) on the windscreen. Toyota has said that it's already recieved 6,000 pre-orders for these launch edition cars, so it looks like the GR Yaris could be a huge seller in its home market!

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Comments (7)

  • I was really keen till I saw it's auto. I get it, autos shift faster now etc but shifting your gears is just fun.

      1 month ago
  • Fit a "proper" gearbox apart from that I reckon that looks reasonably appealing. Just look at how the Vw Up Gti has been received in the UK.

      1 month ago
    • I think the reason why it has a CVT is because Toyota likely thinks the majority of people who will buy this version of the car live in cities or urban areas with a lot of stop-start traffic. If that's your reality in terms of driving using a...

      Read more
        1 month ago
    • Yes, if used purely in the city however as this is a "warm hatch" it will probably be used out on twisty B Road Blasts and therefore "thrash" it's way through life to put a grin on your face ie. VW Up Gti

        1 month ago
  • "...that power goes to the rear wheels only through a Direct Shift CVT gearbox..." Huh? It's front-wheel-drive, not RWD.

      29 days ago
  • Yeah definitely

      1 month ago
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