A few days ago, photos of what appeared to be a GR Sport version of the Toyota Vios surfaced on the internet. We thought it would debut sometime in 2021 considering the lack of teasers hinting at the sportier Vios.
Boy, were we wrong.
Meet the all-new Vios GR-S. Launched in Malaysia together with the country's debut of the GR Yaris, it is a sportier version of the ever-popular sedan. By sportier, we don't mean a more powerful engine, unfortunately. This means it's not packing a 1.6-liter turbocharged mill and a 6-speed manual from the GR Yaris. It is, however, more than just another body-kitted variant inspired by Malaysia's Vios Challenge racer. But, more on that later.
First, let's talk about its styling. The Vios GR-S is based on the recently facelifted 2021 Vios. The exterior has been made significantly more aggressive to match its new Gazoo Racing name. Upfront, the bumper is similarly designed to that of the GR Yaris with a large center grille, complete a honeycomb design, and side intake vents with horizontal slats. Moving along, new side skirts were fitted together with a new rear bumper, and an integrated diffuser. Completing the look are the trunk spoiler, black mirrors and door handles, and GR badges.
Inside, the Vios GR-S gets upgraded sports seats with the GR logo on the headrest. More GR logos can be found on the carpets and push-start button. Toyota even changed the instrument panel with red gauges and red needles with GR animation on the 4.2-inch multi-info display.
While the 1.5-liter four-cylinder mill producing 105 PS and 140 Nm torque remains the same, the transmission has been updated. The Vios GR-S has a “10-Speed CVT”, meaning Toyota programmed it to have more 'simulated' gears to play with during manual mode. For reference, the standard Vios only has a “7-speed” CVT. Interestingly, there's no manual gearbox option available for the sportier Vios GR-S.
Aside from the transmission, it also gets a new sport-tuned suspension to improve handling. It rides on 17-inch multi-spoke wheels, similar to the TRD wheels available locally.
What do you think of the Vios GR-S? Should Toyota Motor Philippines offer a similar version of the Vios locally? Let us know in the comments.