The Toyota GR Yaris has been the talk of the tuner town ever since it was revealed at the 2020 Tokyo Auto Salon last January. Though we did provide you guys with live photographs, we weren’t able to get up close and examine it thoroughly. Why? Simply put, it was swarmed. Fortunately, we finally got our chance to do so at the 2020 Osaka Auto Messe with this Emotional Red example seen before you.
Probably the most obvious change compared to the standard Yaris is the width of the vehicle. Though it might not seem like it in the photos, they are really wide. The fenders of the GR Yaris are huge when compared to the everyday commuter car it is based on. This is needed though in order to fit the wider wheels and tires and the all-wheel-drive powertrain.
Step inside though, and it’s mostly the same as the standard Yaris albeit with some GR badging here in there such as the steering wheel, gauge cluster, and badge on the center console. Though we didn't get to take a photo, the GR Yaris also has an intercooler spray switch. To older Subaru fans, sounds familiar?
Interestingly, the GR Yaris appears to come standard with the same seats as the more potent GR Supra. Though we could be mistaken, it certainly does look like the ones fitted on Toyota’s flagship sports car. They were quite comfortable and could secure your body even in high speed.
Another interesting note is that the clutch is quite heavy, similar to what you would find in a Subaru WRX STI. That said, the shifter feels really nice and solid. It is unlike the more relaxed shifter feel in most econoboxes.
To most, it might seem like Toyota just widened the Yaris and dropped a more powerful engine in it. However, that isn’t the case. The Japanese automaker went beyond just adding the 272 horsepower 1.6-liter turbo engine in order to make sure the car handles properly. We found out that the battery has been relocated to the rear, where the spare tire is usually found. It's joined by what seems to be a water reservoir.
For those wondering, we got to check out the GR Yaris RZ High Performance First Edition which comes with the larger wheels and brakes (fitted on here) It will retail for JPY 4.56 million (about Php 2.11 million).
Hopefully, we get to see this hot hatch on the streets of Manila.