Toyota’s Gazoo Racing division has released a catalogue of cosmetic addenda for the Japanese brand’s eagerly-awaited GR Yaris all-wheel-drive hot hatchback, which is on course to be released in South Africa in 2021.
We recently reported that the GR (Gazoo Racing) Yaris had gone into production at Toyota's Motomachi factory, in a dedicated section of the plant that is reserved for the production of GR sportscars.
White seems to be the go-to colour for the GR Yaris; it makes the contrasting GR Parts really stand out.
Aided by a scrawny 1 280-kg kerb weight and a trick all-wheel-drive system that can split torque between the hot hatchback’s front and rear axle via modes such as Normal (60:40), Sport (30:70) and Track (50:50), the GR Yaris is said to zip from 0 to 100 kph in 5.5 sec.
The newcomer is powered by a 1.6-litre 3-cylinder turbopetrol engine that produces 192 kW and 360 Nm or 200 kW and 370 Nm (depending on specification), and we’ve heard a rumour that the South African market is likely to be availed the more potent version of the two.
Upon the release of the GR Yaris, Toyota announced it would offer an optional Circuit Pack, which comprises a pair of Torsen limited-slip differentials, a performance-tuned suspension, red brake callipers and 18-inch alloy wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres.
But what if buyers wanted to specify a host of go-faster accoutrements to make their GR Yaris stand out from the rest of the compact hot hatch brigade? Well, Toyota now also offers a host of optional GR Parts to beef up the kerb appeal of the WRC-inspired all-wheel-driven pocket rocket, including a front splitter, side-skirt extensions and a chunkier rear diffuser with a quad-exhaust setup.
Although the body stripes, carbon-fibre number plate frame, GR wheel valve caps, branded load bay mat and carbon-fibre-look interior inserts won’t improve performance, Gazoo Racing has also made available a front-strut tower bar, which is likely to improve handling to some extent.
To recap, Toyota South Africa recently told us the GR Yaris was "still on the cards for SA for 2021", but expressed some concern over timing and the exchange rate, the latter not being particularly favourable. So, there you have it, GR Yaris is still very much on Toyota SA's radar, but its arrival will depend on the South African Rand's performance against foreign currency. Watch this space.