Toyota has unveiled an upgraded version of its rally-bred GR Yaris hot hatch which
is available for the first time with an auto.

Previously available only with a manual, the eight-speed DirectShift automatic
transmission is sure to broaden the appeal of the little hottie.

TGR World Rally Team drivers put the new automatic transmission to the test on a
range of road surfaces, including in the Japanese Rally Championship and Toyota
GAZOO Racing Rally Challenge under the ethos of “breaking and fixing” to help
make the new transmission as durable and reliable as possible.

The new transmission’s control software has been optimised for dynamic driving,
delicately sensing the driver’s operation of the accelerator and brakes to anticipate
gear shifts before vehicle behaviour changes, providing incredibly fast and intuitive

The eight-speed automatic has been constructed using highly heat-resistant friction
material in the clutch, with close ratios that make the most of the engine’s power

Complementing the introduction of the automatic is an increase in maximum engine
outputs for the 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine, regardless of
transmission choice.

Power has been increased from 200kW to a peak 224kW at 6500 rpm while torque
has been boosted by 30Nm to 400Nm from 3250-4600 rpm.

Power continues to be deployed to all four wheels with selectable torque distribution
and a new drive mode select system that adjusts the electronic power steering, air
conditioning and powertrain settings in accordance with user preferences.

Visual upgrades inside and out include tilting the dashboard and multimedia screen
towards the driver by 15 degrees to aid operability.

Safety and convenience have also been increased with additional active safety
features and Toyota Connected Services added for greater occupant protection.

Production of Australian models is expected to start later this year.

About Chris Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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