2020 Toyota GR Yaris officially revealed

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Toyota’s first all-wheel-drive performance car in 20 years, the GR Yaris, has made its debut at the 2020 Tokyo Auto Salon.

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As we covered in the most recent edition of Data Digest, the GR Yaris isn’t your run-of-the-mill hot hatchback. Rather, it doesn’t share a single part with its standard five-door counterpart, with a bespoke three-door layout and 91mm-lower roofline designed to save weight and streamline aerodynamics in preparation for a rally-prepped GR Yaris’ debut on World Rally Championship stages in 2021.

Even its platform is bespoke: the front of the car uses the regular Yaris’ GA-B platform, while the rear employs the GA-C architecture and its independent rear suspension used by the larger Corolla and Prius.

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Under the bonnet of the road car is a 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine producing 192kW of power and 360Nm of torque – the most powerful three-cylinder ever fitted to a production car.

It’s worth noting those outputs are for European models, with the Japanese market scoring a more powerful 200kW/370Nm tune of the same turbo engine.

Drive is sent to all wheels through a six-speed manual transmission, enabling a 0-100km/h sprint time of under 5.5 seconds and an electronically-limited top speed of 230km/h.

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The GR-FOUR all-wheel-drive system fitted to the GR Yaris – loosely based on that of the Toyota RAV4 – can send up to 100 per cent of the power to the front or rear axles, theoretically allowing full front- or rear-wheel-drive.

The system’s torque split can be varied between the three drive modes. In Normal it sits at 60:40 front-to-rear, Sport up the balance to 30:70, while Track evens it out to a symmetrical 50:50.

Stopping power comes from large sports brakes, measuring 356mm up front with four-piston calipers, and 297mm at the rear with two-piston calipers. They’re concealed by 18-inch black alloy wheels wrapped in 225mm Dunlop SP Sport Maxx tyres as standard.

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An optional Circuit Pack is available in most markets, which fits lighter 18-inch alloys, grippier Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber, a sportier suspension tune and Torsen front and rear limited-slip differentials (replacing open units).

Toyota claims a 1280kg kerb weight for its all-paw hatch – just 63kg portlier than its closest size rival, the two-wheel-drive Ford Fiesta ST.

The cabin has been treated to a sporty makeover, with supportive Alcantara/leather bucket seats, GR-badged steering wheel and instruments, and a smattering of red accents.

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The 2020 Toyota GR Yaris is set to land Down Under in late 2020, with production to commence later this year at a new ‘GR Production Centre’ in Motomachi, Japan, dedicated to manufacturing low-volume GR-branded sports cars.

Prices for the hot Yaris start from around AUD$53,000 in Japan – we’d wager Australian buyers will be hit with a similar sum.

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