Tested and approved by Tommi Mäkinen himself

Whenever a carmaker takes out the good stuff out of its know-how box and spreads its on a new car, well, that’s when you know you’re in for a treat. That’s exactly what Toyota did with the GR Yaris, its second global GR-badged car after the Supra GR and at the same time a homologation model that will sometime in the future spawn a fully-blown rally racer.

  • 2020 Toyota GR Yaris
  • Year:
    2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-3
  • Transmission:
    six-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    257
  • Torque @ RPM:
    265
  • Displacement:
    1.6 L
  • 0-60 time:
    5.5 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    143 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    8.5/10
2020 Toyota GR Yaris Exterior
- image 879702

Developing the Toyota GR Yaris was something one could call a joint effort. Toyota reached out to its Gazoo Racing division but also to Tommi Mäkinen Racing - the latter is, in fact, Toyota’s partner in the WRC (World Rally Championship).

For the GR Yaris, the Japanese engineers came up with all-new everything: the car sits on a new platform, it has a freshly-developed engine, and another novelty is also the GR-FOUR permanent all-wheel-drive setup.

2020 Toyota GR Yaris - The Engine

2020 Toyota GR Yaris Wallpaper quality Drivetrain
- image 879669

A new 1.6-liter (1,618 cubic centimeters), three-cylinder engine powers the Toyota GR Yaris. It’s fitted with a single-scroll ball-bearing turbocharger but it also gets a handful of motorsport-specific technology:

  • multi-oil jet piston cooling
  • large-diameter exhaust valves
  • part-machined intake port

The engine makes 192 kilowatts (257 horsepower, 261 PS) and 360 Newton-meters (265 pound-feet) of twist channeled through a six-speed manual transmission that was specially tweaked to handle high levels of torque. It is also the most powerful three-cylinder engine in the world at the time of writing.

2020 Toyota GR Yaris - Performance

2020 Toyota GR Yaris Exterior
- image 879714

Toyota didn’t hold back on lightweight materials when it designed the GR Yaris’ body panels. For example, the roof is made of a newly-engineered carbon fiber polymer, the hood is aluminum, as are the doors and the tailgate. All these solutions brought down the GR Yaris’ curb weight to 1,280 kilograms (2,822 pounds), allowing for a weight-to-power ratio of 4.9 kilograms per PS (10.9 pounds per horsepower).

As a result, the GR Yaris sprints from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) in 5.5 seconds on its way to a top speed that’s electronically limited at 230 kilometers per hour (143 miles per hour). Stopping power comes from 356-millimeter grooved front discs and four-piston calipers. The system is designed to withstand high stress, high heat conditions associated to track racing, and special-stage driving.

2020 Toyota GR Yaris Drivetrain
- image 879705

The GR Yaris can be upgraded on demand with Toyota’s Circuit Pack, which brings three extra additions:

  • a Torsen limited-slip differential for each axle
  • performance-focused suspensions on all four corners
  • 18-inch forged alloy wheels
  • Michelin Pilot Sport 4S 225/40R18 tires

2020 Toyota GR Yaris - Platform and Chassis

2020 Toyota GR Yaris Drivetrain
- image 879696

The GR Yaris’ underpinnings are a hybrid between the front section of Toyota’s GA-B platform and the rear of the GA-C. Toyota did this because it had to fit in the new GR-FOUR AWD setup without denting stability and handling. What’s more, the GR Yaris ditches the torsion beam rear suspension in favor of a double-wishbone configuration, while in the front, Toyota opted for a MacPherson strut system.

Here’s how Toyota explains the GR-FOUR setup’s modus operandi:

‘The ingenious system uses slightly different gear ratios for the front and rear axles and allows for a theoretical range of front/rear torque balance from 100:0 (full front-wheel drive) to 0:100 (full rear-wheel drive). This flexibility gives a performance advantage over AWD on-demand systems that use twin-coupling or permanent AWD systems with a center differential. The GR FOUR system is also considerably lighter in weight.’

2020 Toyota GR Yaris Wallpaper quality Exterior
- image 879671

In addition, the driver can finely tune the AWD’s settings through a dedicated dial switch:

  • Normal mode: front biased, torque is split 60:40 between the two axles
  • Sport mode: rear-biased, torque is split 30:70 between the two axles
  • Track mode: balanced, torque is split 50:50 between the two axles
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
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 More
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