Toyota GR Yaris - the premiere of a new sports model
When Toyota announced its return to the World Rally Championship (WRC) in 2015, part of the plan was to create a rally-inspired sports car. This vision takes the technical knowledge and experience of the WRC and applies it to a road car that can compete and is also accessible to customers. The new GR Yaris was built from the ground up based on the Yaris WRC that Toyota won the 2018 World Rally Championship with.
Toyota GR Yaris
From the very beginning, the design team worked closely with the Tommi Mäkinen Racing team. The result is a vehicle that is the perfect combination of rigid and lightweight construction with agile, precise chassis control and a powerful yet compact turbocharged engine.
Professional racers, including members of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team, tested the prototypes and provided valuable feedback. Testing was also conducted by Akio Toyoda himself as Toyota Master Driver, acting as a driver under the pseudonym Morizo.
The platform on which the GR Yaris is built is a unique combination of the new GA-B platform that debuted in the fourth-generation Yaris, with a rear end adapted from the GA-C platform used in the Corolla and Toyota C-HR.
Another unique element is the body itself, which has been designed to provide better aerodynamics. The car is based on the new 4th generation Toyota Yaris hatchback, but it has three doors and only some exterior elements are borrowed from the standard Yaris. In addition, it has a lower, tapering roofline that was designed to direct airflow to a large rear spoiler and generate additional downforce. As with the performance Yaris WRC, lower body contours channel airflow to the sides of the car.
The engine is also completely new design. It is a 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine. It is the most powerful three-cylinder engine in the world and also the smallest and lightest 1.6-liter turbo engine. Produces 261 hp. (192 kW) at 6500 rpm. and a maximum torque of 360 Nm in the range from 3000 to 4600 rpm. It complies with the technical regulation category WRC2 and can accelerate the GR Yaris from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.5 seconds. The maximum speed is 230 km/h and is electronically limited. The powertrain design uses components taken directly from motorsport, including a ball-bearing turbocharger, large-diameter exhaust valves and oil sprayed onto the piston crowns to cool them.
12-valve 1618 cc engine cm complies with the requirements of the Rally 2 category (formerly R5) and the rules of the World Rally Championship. Toyota has negotiated with the FIA to allow three-cylinder units to compete in this competition.
The GR Yaris is light for a hot hatch (curb weight 1280 kg) and its power is close to that of powerful cars in the C segment. The car achieves an exceptional weight-to-power ratio of 4.9 kg per 1 hp. The 12%'s body weight before other parts are assembled is less than the standard fourth-generation Yaris. This is made possible by the use of lightweight materials in the construction of the GR Yaris, including aluminum on the hood and doors and carbon fiber composites on the roof. Compared to the standard Yaris, the engine is 21mm further back in the cabin, which contributes to better vehicle weight distribution, balance and a low center of gravity.
With a low curb weight of just 1,280kg, the GR Yaris owes its excellent weight-to-power ratio of 4.9kg per bhp.
Engine power uses the new Toyota GR-FOUR permanent all-wheel drive system. The car offers three driving modes - normal, track and sport, which distribute power between the front and rear axles depending on the conditions. This is another racing-inspired aspect.
The permanent four-wheel drive system is simple in design and lightweight - lighter than systems with alternative drive or a center differential.
There are three operating modes for the GR-FOUR drive. The first is the Track mode, which distributes power 50:50 and is suitable for fast driving in all conditions. In Sport mode, power is split 30:70 to achieve rear-wheel drive performance, while in Normal mode it is split 60:40. This is the default mode, suitable for everyday driving.
The GR Yaris with the sport package is additionally equipped with front and rear Torsen limited slip differentials to improve cornering and traction, as well as control the distribution of torque on the front and rear axles.
The use of the GA-C platform at the rear has allowed the development of a custom all-wheel drive rear suspension system that will provide a high level of agility and stability. The design uses double trailing arms instead of the torsion beam found on the standard Yaris. Like the front suspension, the design is light, very stiff and allows for maximum tire grip.
Wheels and tires
The GR Yaris comes standard with 18-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels. The shape of the spokes follows the line of the traditional Japanese sword. Tires Dunlop SP Sport MAXX 050 size 225/40 R18.
The GR Yaris with the Sport Pack features lighter 10-spoke BBS forged alloy wheels. The use of forged rims offset the weight of the additional elements of the package - Torsen front and rear differentials. This version uses Michelin Pilot 4S tires that provide extra grip, stability and control when riding fast. To ensure that the tires reach their full potential, the Sport package includes a specially tuned suspension with stiffer springs and anti-roll bars, modified dampers, and a suitably tuned electric power steering.
Front mounted ventilated discs with a diameter of 356 mm with four-piston lightweight aluminum calipers. The rims are larger than the GR Supra. The rear brakes are ventilated discs with a diameter of 297 mm with two-piston aluminum calipers. On the GR Yaris with the sport package, the front calipers are painted red and emblazoned with the GR logo.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Driver Commitment
Jari Matti Latvala and Chris Micke bring to the GR Yaris project their many years of experience in rallying at the highest level. They shared extremely valuable information while testing prototypes during the development of the car. This is a perfect example of how TOYOTA GAZOO Racing uses the technical knowledge and experience gained in motorsport to create better and better Toyota vehicles.
“GR Yaris is the civilian car that comes closest to what WRC rally cars have to offer, thanks to its throttle response and handling,” said Jari Matti Latvala, Toyota driver in the 2017-2019 WRC seasons, winner of Rally Sweden 2017 and Rally. Australia 2018.