Latest Toyota Yaris GR appears to get all-wheel drive
12 December 2019 - autoblog
Akio Toyoda took it for a romp in the dirt
Three years ago, Toyota revealed a high-performance limited-production version of the Yaris with the GRMN (Gazoo Racing Meisters of the Nurburgring) badge. While it was painted like the Gazoo Racing rally cars, and it had healthy performance with 209 horsepower, being supercharged and front-wheel-drive it was still quite a departure from the actual race cars. That seems to be changing with the new model.
Toyota and Gazoo Racing are teasing the new Toyota GR Yaris, seemingly dropping the "MN" suffix to match the GR Supra, with a video of Toyota President Akio Toyoda, in his Morizo race-driver guise, taking it for its final test. Most of the video doesn't reveal a whole lot other than it has aggressive bodywork and is based on the global Yaris, not the rebadged Mazda2 we get in America. But when Toyoda-san launches the Yaris, we can clearly see all four wheels scrabbling for traction. So it seems this GR Yaris will be all-wheel-drive like its rally cousins.
The GR Yaris will make its official debut at the Tokyo Auto Salon in January. Before that, it will be covered in a red, black and white vinyl wrap for a "dynamic" debut at the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival on Dec. 15. Details on the powertrain should come with the full reveal in January. We also expect this will be a production car, even if it's limited production, since Toyota says this "will be the second pure sports-car model to be launched globally by TGR, following last year's return of the legendary Toyota GR Supra." We probably won't see it in the United States, though, since there's no sign the regular next-generation Yaris hatchback will be offered here.