Taking Toyota’s GR Yaris To The Extreme

Wait as second – the GR (Gazoo Racing) Yaris hasn’t even hit dealerships yet, right? Yes, that’s quite correct, but as you read this, Toyota’s hottest hatch ever has today officially gone on sale in Japan.

First deliveries of the ‘1st Edition’ model are now happening too, which means this thing is finally a reality. I’ve been counting down the days to get my hands on one for a proper drive feature, and it looks like that day is going to come pretty soon.


This is one of the most anticipated JDM sports cars of recent years, and after being introduced to the new model nine months ago at Tokyo Auto Salon, the guys at Gazoo Racing have just sent me these pictures of the wide-arched, four-wheel drive, turbocharged GR Yaris in its final production guise.


If you need a refresher, this little hatch packs a 268hp 1.6L 3-cylinder turbo motor, driving all four wheels through a pair of Torsen diffs. There’s also an electronically-controllable center diff that you can manually run through three preset front-to-rear torque splits.


And yes, you are seeing three pedals – the GR Yaris comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox. You remember those, right? Toyota really ticked off all the ‘must haves’ for this enthusiast pocket rocket.


The GR Yaris comes with open diffs in the base RZ version, while the RZ ‘High Performance’ benefits from Torsen differentials. On top of that, and as an option from Gazoo Racing, you can specify the mechanical LSDs shown above.


Then there’s the look – pumped fenders, an imposing front with a gigantic air dam to feed all the coolers behind the grille, and a set of lightweight wheels. It reminds me of some high performance models born out of the 1980s and ’90s, when manufacturers were required to create wild homologation specials in order to go racing. It’s like it can’t possibly get any better.

Or can it?


I’m not even sure what to say here, because we’ve literally just been passed these pictures from our old friend Kei Miura of Rocket Bunny, who’s obviously been hard at work creating something even more visually extreme. The wild lines and aggressive widening has Miura’s iteration looking like it’s ready to attack a tarmac WRC stage.


While Miura didn’t accompany these set of renders with any type of explanation or comment, one quick scroll through my Instagram feed has confirmed that Daigo Saito is working on something special behind closed doors. As was the case with his Pandem-kitted A90 Supra D1GP project, it seems Saito got his hands on a pre-production GR Yaris and has done a few interesting things in the engine department…

All of this is so wild on so many levels. Watch this space as we find out more once the embargoes lift today.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: dino_dalle_carbonare



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What is this?! Manual transmission in 2020?!

Jokes aside the racing version looks insane. Can't wait too see what the aftermarket has in store for this car.


Want so bad! Bring to America please!

Chris Kreschollek



It's a pity they cancelled the WRC version. Kills the homologation aspect

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah too bad


@Vittorio I think it would be pretty cool to have both track and rally configurations. Think about, Honda just won the manufacturer’s cup in time attack, Toyota might have different plans for a WRC. Who Knows?


That's a wild little car, and the RB version will obviously be even wilder. Do I spot an engine in the back???

To me Toyota is releasing surpisingly sporty cars lately. A few years ago I thought they had become quite boring...


@Dino Dalle Carbonare:

Just some tips from an aerodynamic perspective:

Flatten the front overfenders on the top to the kind already there, with a slight hollow to the topside . The outer most side needs to curve up a little. Or just an slight edge on the outside. Looking at it from the side the need to have upward angle of about 5 degrees. Should create downforce withouth creating to much drag.

The rear overfenders: It need to come up a lot. At least as much as the front fenders. Some slight hollow, and same upward angle. Should create downforce withouth creating to much drag.

The skirts: One simple large edition: Ad a flat plate to the side of them, with a 5cm high ridge (2"). Should still clear the dor opening? Should create downforce withouth creating to much drag.

The Back: As is, nothing wrong there! You could add a slight lip to the lightbar though, althought thats essentially for trimming the car.

The Front: first up: Some wing endplates on the splitter. Do what you like with them, as long as there at least 5cm high, allthough higher is preferable. Cover every hole that isn't neccesary with a blanking plate. Thewing endplates of the xtra blades need to have venting holes of louvres in them. Air cant go anywhere inside them, causing drag without benefits. You could also essentially make them less tall so there is a opening under the ledge. Air can bleed out that way, reducing drag and increasing downforce.

Most of it isn't that hard to ajust, except for the rear fenders. Especially considering the light clusters and the fueling. And don't get me wrong: I like where it is going. What you end up creating if you follow the rules I stated, is a high downfroce version of a WRC car. It will limit topspeed, but you should see quite some gains on the cornering and braking department.

Coming from the same place as GR, but it wasn't called that back in my day....


Yeah the i/c hoses are and under those canards need some blanking


LOL. cool story.


Many many yes and such wow indeed. Hope we get to rock that in a racing game!.


This is just a concept right?


Pretty sure, but that doesn't make me lust for one any less ( :


Can we finally admit that Extreme Styling has gone off the cliff?

It's time to get back to using a small number of carefully-chosen lines and surfaces instead of this "missing the forest for the trees, make it more radical" design philosophy.

Case in point, the 1991 Formula in the attached picture. Inherently superior styling and while not as fast, far more pleasing to the eye and only a powertrain swap away from being truly fast.


Wait a minute, what's with the same car but in HKS livery to be shown in TAS 2021?


Good eye, or at least I think so....


Daigos car is mental...... 1000ps 2jz in a yaris.......


Well, the gazoo version is cool but the wide body is just something about it doesnt fit

I dunno im getting old.



Completely agree! I think the Stock GR is on the money that adding over flairs to an already agressive arch design just doesnt have the same end result as it would normally have!


Has anyone else been waiting for BMW to release a hot-hatch? With German engineering, they could be unbeatable! I think it would be cool to throw a 2jz-gte in there, which would result in absolutely no control. The aftermarket for this car is going to rocket! I would say nice photography, but it looks like these photos are renders.


Well there is bmw m135i xdrive and older m140i (rwd)


True, I miss group B, and there's not really any other german manufacturers other than VW participating in rallycross.


Like the Mini Cooper ?


Truly awesome, unlike some of the comments on here


Never have I ever wanted a Yaris so badly!


It reminds me of some high performance models born out of the 1980s and ’90s, when manufacturers were required to create wild homologation specials in order to go racing.

It kinda is. One of the design consideration was it being adapted into Toyota’s new WRC machine. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic that’s been pushed back to the new regs for 2022, but still. Kinda a homologation special?


Lol makes me a proud Yaris owner finally!


Bloody shame that it’s not coming to North America.


And I thought the Papadakis Formula D Corolla iM is the limit


I don’t care what all the whinging internet has to say. Toyota will have the Yaris, Supra and 86 in showrooms together. They have shown a real commitment to enthusiast drivers and we should put our money where our mouths are. Buy these, not SUVs, and they will feel more confident to keep feeding the enthusiasts and remedy some of the gripes.


The Yaris always has been an underated platform , I own one with the loud yet very slow 3 cylinder 1KR - FE and I always think about doing some minor mods to it (there is a supercharger kit for it), sadly I don't know where to start and french laws are a big gray area (the tuning scene here is almost dead).


Love Toyota yaris.i have one 2007model.