Now that’s how you’re supposed to drive a rally-ready GR Yaris

Ever since its debut, the GR Yaris has been putting a lot of smiles on a lot of faces, mostly those of the car journos that had the chance to sample the feisty hot hatch. But the time has come for Toyota’s pocket-rocket to go rallying and looking at this video, it really seems up to the challenge.

Obviously, the current project is still work in progress, but we know it’s the Toyota GR Yaris AP4, a build developed by Toyota Australia’s Product Planning & Development arm with Neal Bates Motorsport. All while starting from a street-spec GR Yaris.

Once the teams sort out every mechanical aspect of the GR Yaris AP4, it will race in the 2021 season of the Australian Rally Championship with Harry and Lewis Bates behind the wheel, so the project involves two cars rather than one.

Watch the Toyota GR Yaris Get Beat On in First Real Test
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In developing the rally racers, the teams used virtual reality technology to pinpoint the exterior design that worked best for the car’s purpose, Car Advice writes. What’s more, every bit and bob was then refined using computer-aided design and fabrication began under Toyota Australia’s supervision.

"It [the GR Yaris] gives us an amazing platform to start with. We have got a carbon fiber roof, we’ve got aluminum doors, we’ve got the lightest and most powerful three-cylinder turbo mass production engine in the world, we’ve got an incredibly wide stance, and all-wheel drive - it’s literally made to be rallied," said Neal Bates, chief of Neal Bates Motorsport, for the same outlet.

Watch the Toyota GR Yaris Get Beat On in First Real Test
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The GR Yaris AP4 rally car will rock the stock engine found in the road-going model, which as mentioned above, is a 1.6-liter, turbocharged three-cylinder mill good for 257 horsepower that revs to 7,200 rpm.

Power goes to all wheels through a six-speed manual and the driver can choose how he wants that power delivered - 60% to the front axle, 70% to the rear axle, or split equally between the two axles.

Looking at the shakedown video below, we’d say the AP4 is darn ready to torture the rally stages.

Watch the Toyota GR Yaris Get Beat On in First Real Test
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2020 Toyota GR Yaris full specifications
Engine in-line, 3 cylinders
Displacement 1.6 l/1,618 cc
Bore x Stroke 87.5 x 89.7
Compression ratio 10.5:1
Power 192 kW/261 PS/257 hp
Torque 360 Nm/265 lb-ft
Transmission 6-speed manual, AWD
0-100 km/h (62 mph) 5.5 s
Top speed 230 km/h (143 mph)
Turning circle 10.8 m/35.4 ft
Curb weight 1,280 kg/2,822 lb
Length 3,995 mm/13.1 ft
Width 1,805 mm/5.9 ft
Height 1,460 mm/4.8 ft
Wheelbase 2,558 mm/8.4 ft
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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