It’s not about what sort of power you put down, but how you put it

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2020 had plenty of reasons for us to get excited and the Yaris GR is definitely one of them. Just when we thought there’s no more wiggle room in the hot hatch segment, Toyota pulls the rally-inspired Yaris GR out of the hat to every car reviewer’s delight.

The Yaris GR has been getting stellar reviews and pretty much every blogger, vlogger, and car journo is raving about Gazoo Racing’s pocket rocket. But can it face the current king of hot hatches and come out on top?

Does The Toyota Yaris GR Even Stand A Chance Against The Honda Civic Type R On The Strip?
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We can’t not love the Yaris GR. Embedded in its bones is the long-gone DNA found baked into the likes of Audi Quattro, Lancia Delta Integrale, Ford Escort RS, and Celica GT4.

But unlike the names above, the Yaris GR is a perfectly legal road car. It has a 1.6-liter three-cylinder turbo engine with 257 horsepower, which makes it the most powerful production three-cylinder mill in the world - until the first Koenigsegg Gemera comes out of the factory, that is.

Does The Toyota Yaris GR Even Stand A Chance Against The Honda Civic Type R On The Strip?
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The Yaris GR has a six-speed manual and it’s got a permanent AWD setup with variable torque distribution tailored for 60-percent or 70-percent rear bias as well as a track-focused 50:50 split.

Now, in my book, the Civic Type R rules supreme in the hot hatch arena. It’s got that perfect balance between performance and usability, a flawlessly-tuned powertrain and between you and me, how many hot hatches out there start in Sport mode as standard?

Does The Toyota Yaris GR Even Stand A Chance Against The Honda Civic Type R On The Strip?
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Then there’s the slick-shifting six-speed manual, the 2.0-liter turbo engine making 306 horsepower (320 CP/315 horsepower in Europe) and all that wonderful chemistry it shares with the transmission. Power goes only to the front wheels in the Civic Type R, and although it packs a bigger punch than the Yaris GR, Honda’s hot hatch can’t put it down as efficiently as the Toyota. That’s exactly what makes the video below so interesting to watch.

Tudor Rus
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read full bio
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