Former double F1 Champion and Toyota Gazoo Racing Dakar driver, Fernando Alonso, has driven the latest Toyota GR Yaris on a wet track in Portugal and he loves it!
When Toyota revealed the Gazoo Racing Yaris earlier in January 2020, we were salivating. What you see here is a rally-inspired homologation model which serves as the basis for the next-generation Yaris WRC racecar and it will go on sale to the public in limited numbers.
We previously sampled the Yaris GRMN and it was an absolute hoot to drive and we have no doubt that this GR Yaris will deliver the thrills by the bucketload.
Infused with Toyota’s rally racing expertise, this high-performance hatchback packs a mean punch with a 3-cylinder, 1.6-litre turbocharged producing 192 kW and 360 Nm of torque and mated with a 6-speed manual transmission. Toyota reckons it will dash from zero to 100 kph in sub 5.5 seconds and run to a top speed of 230 kph.
The GR Yaris features a new all-wheel-drive system that can apportion torque to the front or rear axle depending on what drive mode is selected by the driver including Normal (60:40), Sport (30:70) and Track (50:50).
A wet track is perhaps not the ideal place to be pushing a potent hot hatchback to its limits but if you are Fernando Alonso, it matters little. The Spanish racing driver took the GR Yaris for a whirl around a wet Estoril track in Portugal and he had a lot of good things to say and we aren’t surprised. Give the video below a watch to see what Alonso has to say about his driving experience in the GR Yaris.
As for availability, it’s not yet clear if this firecracker will reach South Africa. If it does, not many will be up for grabs...