Wild new GR Yaris rewrites the hot hatch rulebook. Its in South Africa now

There’s a special new corner in your local Toyota dealership showroom. It’s a place reserved for only the most special Toyotas. Cars that represent the dreams of Mr. Akido Toyoda himself. And cars hewn directly from Toyota Gazoo Racing gold.


This is the first Toyota like you have never seen before. One that’s set to appeal to a completely different customer type. Meet Toyota Gazoo Racing’s s one-of-a-kind masterpiece GR Yaris – the rally car for the road. And it’s now for sale in South Africa in straight-up or even cooler Rally get-up

The first turbocharged AWD Toyota ever to come to SA, this WRC bred pure performance car is forged by Toyota Gazoo Racing’s world championship winning success. This is the Gazoo Racing ethos of delivering racing technology directly to the street.

Anyone versed in racing or rallying will know the need for the pursuit of perfection. Some appreciate the fruits that racing success may bring. Race cars are nothing like road cars. They are built to win.

Racers are harder

Harder, rowdier, faster and nimbler than their street siblings, they enjoy thousands of man hours spent to deliver a couple of laps, every few weekends. Street cars are comfy, consistent and easy to live with. And they pump them out like sausages.

There are exceptions. And this incredible all-new little Toyota is a spectacular one. Built in a unique new factory, GR Yaris is not just the homologation model for the next Yaris World Rally car. It is also the closest thing you’ll find to a rally or race car on the road. It takes the M, AMG and RS concept further to deliver the ultimate driver’s car.

Based on the regular European Yaris, the GR Sport RZ is the ultimate hot hatch, ever. Small, light and individually master assembled, its 198 kW 360 Nm 1.6-litre turbo DOHC 12-valve 3-pot has a supreme 3.2kg/kW power to weight ratio. All-aluminium, it has blueprinted, statically and dynamically balanced lightweight pistons and reciprocating parts, a die-cast cylinder block and high-strength cylinder head with hollow camshafts.

spray-chilled air-to-air intercooler

GR Yaris has water spray chilled air-to-air intercooled ceramic ball bearing turbocharger for full output. No matter how hot it gets, its air cleaner enhances performance with a racy engine tone. A quick-shifting 6-speed intelligent manual gearbox drives all four wheels through GR Sport’s 4WD 2. Lightweight and rigid strut front and double wishbone rear suspension has pillow ball joints, performance springs and dampers. And aggressive track and stage geometry.

Developed by Toyota Gazoo and its Tommi Mäkinen Racing World Rally Championship team, GR Yaris has an 11mm longer chassis. The C-SMC body in white is specially prepared using latest structural adhesives, while 200 extra spots shorten the distance between weld points. For maximum rigidity between chassis components.

GR Yaris’ performance braking system has large high heat capacity 356 mm grooved front discs with four-pot callipers. Engineered to cope with rigorous high-speed track and special-stage driving. Those front rotors are larger even than those fitted to the GR Supra…


GR Yaris also benefits significant weight reduction. The bonnet, doors and tailgate are crafted from lightweight aluminium. GR even places the battery under the boot for optimal low centre of gravity and ideal 59:41 distribution. Its power-to-weight ratio of 0,154 kW per kg helps rocket GR Yaris from rest to 100 km/h in all of 5.5 seconds. VMax is electronically limited top to 230 km/h.

If that’s not enough, the über-Yaris was crafted in the wind tunnel. Its resin impregnated carbon fibre moulded roof drops rearward to ensure the spoiler delivers maximum downforce. A lower front spoiler gets canard edges and there’s a streamlined underbody too. The wheels force air from the wheel houses and along the body, just like a WRC car.

All of which really sounds like a World Rally Car build. Well, it almost is, The biggest difference between competition and street cars is the amount of time and effort that goes into a racer. Toyota’s baby supercar GR Yaris was developed by a team of Toyota’s finest engineers and works race and rally champions including Tommi Mäkinen and reigning 7-time GR Yaris WRC champion Sebastien Ogier.


The Gazoo Racing Yaris also christens a state of the art next-generation GR Factory. Assembled by Toyota’s finest and highest skilled Takumi master craftsmen and women. They meticulously measure, balanced and blueprint each component. A professional driver track tests each car before fine tuning before it is shipped to its owner.

Now available from that special GR corner of your South African Toyota dealer, GR Yaris’ local spec includes daytime running LED-headlamps, LED foglamps, heated power-retractable wing mirrors and rain-sensing wipers. Keyless entry accesses a cool cabin complete with push start. There’s 6-speaker touchscreen audio Multi-Information Display infotainment. It packs the expected Apple CarPlay and Android smartphone mirroring, Bluetooth and USB.

GR Yaris has an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, dual-zone climate control, a 12-volt power outlet and the steering wheel is tilt-and-telescopic adjustable too. SA models include a full active and passive safety suite with ABS, EBD and Brake Assist. Add stability Control with Hill Assist and a four-wheel tyre pressure monitoring.


Not enough for you? Well, never fear! Toyota’s Gazoo Racing Yaris comes to South Africa in two derivatives. The more street-oriented car as described above and the no compromise GR Yaris Rally. The Rally car gains a Circuit Pack.

The front and rear axle get Torsen limited-slip differentials. Suspension is peformance-tuned and power-steering assistance tweaked. And 18-inch BBS forged alloy wheels are fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport 4s trackday tyres. WRC spec? Pretty close!

The GR Yaris Rally gains extra bolstered leather-Alcantara combo sports seats up front, leather rear pews, heads-up display. Toyota Safety Sense active safety adds pre-collision, lane trace, adaptive cruise control and auto high beam. Active noise control amplifies the Rally version’s engine sound. By cancelling out opposing frequencies and adding an even more vocal soundtrack.


GR Yaris comes to SA with a 9-service or 90 000 km service plan at 10,000 km intervals and 3-year, 100 000 km warranty. Customers can also purchase a variety of service and warranty add-ons.

The GR Yaris RZ is a one of kind car. It’s about to reinvent the hot hatch for once and for all. So, at just R606K for the GR Yaris and R715K for the Rally version and with a very limited number of cars headed our way, you’s better get down to your local Toyota dealership right now. If they’re not already all sold out, they very soon will be…

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