There have to be some mistake.
This evaluate is meant to be concerning the Toyota Yaris. A automobile, as we all know, that is as cute as a child spaniel and solely marginally extra athletic.
An inoffensive little hatchback that companies use to gather mail or choose up the boss’ kids from college. The type of automobile to which individuals give cutesy names. My spouse’s earlier employer, as an example, had an workplace Yaris referred to as Paris.
However the Yaris GR 4 is in contrast to every other Yaris.
Nicely, it does share lots of its elements with the small automobile we have come to like … and ignore. It has a Yaris nameplate on the rear hatch, and there is a tiny, three-cylinder engine, like many city-centric vehicles.
However that is about the place the similarities finish. That nameplate sits simply above a wild air diffuser and the dual exhaust pipes that are very un-Yaris.
You see, the Yaris GR 4 is definitely the street-going model of Toyota”s present contender within the World Rally Championship. It’s to the Yaris what David Warner is to opening batsmen.
It is quick, noisy and totally attention-grabbing. It is also the latest and most excessive instance of the transformation happening at Toyota – from boring builder of practical machines into an organization whose automobiles are sporty, trendy and thrilling. What began with redesigns of the Corolla and Camry then noticed the rebirth of Toyota’s most charismatic mannequin – the Supra.
Now comes the Yaris GR4. It is the one Toyota, apart from the Supra, to put on the “GR” designation. It stands for Toyota’s Gazoo Racing efficiency arm. Because the GR brand suggests, it is inherited some fairly unique DNA from the Supra, regardless that that automobile is basically a rebadged and restyled BMW Z4 in a deal between two of the world’s largest automobile makers.
The identical deal has seen elements just like the Yaris’ three-cylinder engine utilised in vehicles like BMW’s 1-Collection and its common Mini Cooper.
Within the Mini that engine is nice for about 100kW. On this completely insane Yaris, by way of the miracle of recent science, it delivers 200kW and 370Nm – astonishing outputs for an engine mainly designed to be clear and frugal.
Weaponising a automobile just like the Yaris would possibly appear to be insanity for Toyota, however they’ve truly been relatively intelligent. To ensure that the automobile to be eligible to compete within the World Rally Championship, it have to be homologated, with sufficient gross sales to cross the foundations.
To make sure they met their targets, the Yaris GR was provided at lowered, drive-away costs till they’d attracted adequate consumers. In Australia, They bought 250 within the first 30 minutes and greater than 500 on the primary day. Australia’s allocation of 1000 was gone inside every week.
The automobile has settled at an asking worth of slightly below $50,000, making it a really costly Yaris (the entry-level mannequin will value you barely $20-grand) however competitively priced towards rivals like VW’s iconic Golf R. Subaru’s WR-X and Hyundai’s i30N.
Formally it should scowl its method to the velocity restrict in simply over 5 seconds, though some non-public testing has apparently coated the journey half a second faster.
With everlasting all wheel drive and a classy collection of differentials and digital traction aides, the GR 4 sticks to the highway like a cat to carpet, but within the course of delivers a surprisingly compliant and cozy journey.
In full voice it sounds epic and delivers staggering, other-worldly acceleration.
The outside styling matches its rally-car heritage, albeit with beautiful alloy wheels and a proliferation of wings and issues.
Inside, there’s grippy suede-leather seats, touch-screen multimedia and a spread of digital driver aids that maintain the entire present on the highway (or off the highway if rallying).
The cockpit is sharply introduced, or at the very least as sharply because it’s affordable to anticipate from a automobile primarily based on a sub-$20okay donor mannequin.
The true worth, after all, is beneath the bonnet.
It is as a lot enjoyable as any automobile I’ve pushed in latest reminiscence (Renault’s Alpine 110 is among the few to match), and positively extra participating than something vaguely inside the worth vary.
TOYOTA YARIS GR FOUR
* HOW BIG? A compact metropolis automobile, however on this configuration will get two doorways (the fundamental Yaris has 4) and 4 seats (in comparison with 5). There’s respectable area for baggage.
* HOW FAST? Phenomenally so. Because it snarls by way of the gears, you may’t assist however marvel how an engine so small can sound, and really feel, a lot greater.
* HOW THIRSTY? Being solely three cylinders, it is truly economical if pushed sedately (as if). In regular site visitors anticipate about 7.6L/100km.
* HOW MUCH? Once more, its worth bears little resemblance to a Yaris. However at slightly below $50,000, it is the cut price feel-good automobile of the yr.