Who’d have thought it: when the Yaris, the replacement for the Echo light hatch in 2005,
emerged, that 16 years later the mousey Toyota mini would be tearing up rally tracks
around the world.

Enter the track-ready GR Yaris Rallye, a high-performance sports car that, according to
Toyota Australia Vice President Sales and Marketing, Sean Hanley, is almost the closest
you can get to the Yaris World Rally Car without joining our World Rally team.

Based on the GR Yaris three-door hatch, the Rallye shapes up with lightweight
components and performance parts specifically designed for drivers who want to
experience a higher level of performance.

Upgrades include race track-tuned GR suspension, Torsen limited-slip differentials on the
front and rear axles, an ultra-light high-performance wheel-and-tyre package and improved
front brake ducting for added cooling.

The GR Yaris Rallye is powered by the same 1.6-litre, single-scroll turbocharged, three-
cylinder petrol engine as the GR Yaris, shooting the car from standstill to 100 km/h in 5.2

Recommended driveaway price for the initial 200 vehicles sold is $56,200; recommended
retail price is $54,500, plus on-road costs.

GR Yaris Rallye is covered by the five-year Toyota Warranty Advantage, seven-year
Toyota Warranty Advantage Extended Engine and Driveline, and $260 capped-price
servicing for the first six services within a six-month / 10,000 km period.

GR Yaris Rallye features the same three-door body shell as the standard GR Yaris with
aerodynamic modifications, plus a carbon-fibre roof and aluminium panels for the doors,
bonnet and tailgate. Along with weight-saving mechanicals, the result is a kerb weight of
just 1280 kg.

The Frosted White crystal pearl painted GR Yaris Rallye wears its heart on its sleeve, with
exterior badging all over the place, including bright red brake callipers bearing the Toyota
Gazoo Racing logo, on lightweight, high-strength 18-inch BBS forged alloy wheels with a
10-spoke design, shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S high-performance 225/40ZR18 tyres
for extra grip, stability and control during high-speed driving.

The aforementioned sporting intent is continued in the cabin, with the descriptor
‘Developed for the FIA World Rally Championship’ predominant on the centre console,
along with a plaque, featuring the model number 011, unique to the test vehicle.

The driver-focused cabin is fitted with a small-diameter leather-wrapped steering wheel
with fingertip controls, leather-wrapped short-throw gear shifter and handbrake, and
aluminium pedals.

Synthetic leather-accented sports front seats feature large bolsters, red stitching and
perforated Ultrasuede inserts, while two rear seats incorporate IsoFix anchor points and
are split 60 / 40 to expand the 141-litre luggage space to a maximum 737 litres when the
seats are folded.

A large easy-to-read speedometer and tacho are positioned either side of a 4.2-inch multi-
information display that offers a range of details, including sports-car oriented turbo
pressure and gear-shift indicators.

Standard premium equipment includes dual-zone climate-control air-conditioning, smart
entry and start, satellite navigation, voice recognition, eight-speaker JBL audio, a modern
multimedia system and a 7-inch touchscreen display.

Prodigious performance comes from a 200 kW, and 370 Nm from 3000 to 4600 rpm three-
cylinder engine (the world’s most powerful three-pot) put to ground via a GR-Four all-
wheel drive system and a six-speed intelligent manual gearbox with rev-matching up and
down shifts.

GR Yaris Rallye features the latest Toyota Safety Sense technologies, including a pre-
collision safety system with autonomous emergency braking, intersection assistance, high-
speed adaptive cruise control, lane trace assist and road-sign assist.

Other safety features include ventilated disc brakes, emergency steering assist, auto high
beam, blind spot monitor, head-up display, reversing camera and six airbags.

Despite the 200 kW and 370 Nm on tap, the engine remained relatively quiet under low
revs, but turned into a growling animal when pushed hard thanks to dual mufflers and
circular sound baffles wrapped around twin tailpipes.

Gear shifting is slick and smooth but requires precise control by the driver. Allow
concentration to lapse and it’s embarrassingly easy to end up in the wrong gear.

With Toyota claiming a combined urban / highway fuel consumption of 7.6 litres per 100
kilometres, test car figures of 12 litres per 100 kilometres in stop-start city motoring and 5.9
on the open road, which seemed to fit in.

The two Torsen limited-slip differentials control torque distribution between the left and
right wheels to deliver direct car control with enhanced stability, cornering and grip.

GR-Four AWD features three driver-selectable modes – Normal, Track and Sport – that
apportion different ratios of front and rear drive according to the mode selected with
maximum 60/40, 30/70 and 50/50 splits, respectively.

The front MacPherson strut suspension from the GR Yaris has been upgraded with stiffer
springs and anti-roll bars to achieve genuine performance potential. Some may find it far
too firm for run-of-the-mill Aussie public roads. A smooth race-circuit surface calls.

The GR Yaris Rallye: Toyota has come up with a mouse that roars, which may not be to
every driver’s taste. I suppose with everything going for it, the $50K-plus price tag should
be no surprise to the initiated.


Toyota GR Yaris Rallye $54,500
Note: This price does not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Toyota dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Toyota GR Yaris Rallye 1.6L Turbo 3-cylinder petrol, 6sp manual,

Capacity: 1.618 litres
Configuration: Three cylinders
Maximum Power: 200 kW @ 6500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 370 Nm @ 3000-4600 rpm
Fuel Type: Petrol 98 RON
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.6 L/100km
CO2 emissions: 172 g/km, Euro 6

DRIVELINE: Six-speed manual with travel-adjusted clutch, GR-Four permanent all-wheel

Length: 3995 mm
Wheelbase: 2560 mm
Width: 1805 mm
Height: 1455 mm
Turning Circle: 11.28 metres
Kerb Mass: 1280 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 50 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

Five years / unlimited kilometres

Looks: 8/10
Performance: 9/10
Safety: 7/10
Thirst: 6/10
Practicality: 5/10
Comfort: 6/10
Tech: 8/10
Value: 7/10

About Derek Ogden

On graduating with an honours degree in applied science in London, Derek Ogden worked for the BBC in local radio and several British newspapers as a production journalist and writer. Derek moved to Australia in 1975 and worked as a sub-editor with The Courier Mail and Sunday Mail in Brisbane, moving to the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1980 where he continued as a production journalist. He was the paper's motoring editor for more than 20 years, taking the weekly section from a few pages at the back of the book to a full-colour liftout of up to 36 pages. He left the publication in 2009.
Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *