The Proton X50 may have been the most anticipated car launch of the year, but what Toyota unveiled last night was without a doubt, the most exciting car to be introduced in Malaysia in a very long time. Ladies and gents, say hello to the Toyota GR Yaris.
Priced at RM299,000 on the road without insurance and road tax, the Toyota GR Yaris, which is essentially a rally car that has been tweaked for the road, is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre 3-cylinder engine that produces 261 PS and 360 Nm of torque.
Paired to the engine is a 6-speed manual gearbox with i-MT (Intelligent Manual Transmission) function that detects the driver’s shifting operation and matches the engine speed to provide a smooth and comfortable shift feel.
Another highlight is that the Toyota GR Yaris is fitted with an all-new full-time four-wheel drive system (GR-Four), which is the first to be developed since the four-wheel drive system in the Toyota GT-4 some 20 years ago.
The GR-Four system distributes power between the front and rear axle via a high response coupling and an electronically controlled multi-plate type clutch that manages the power split between the front and rear wheels.
There are three driving modes to choose from – Normal, Sport, and Track modes. While torque is split 60:40 front to rear in Normal mode, Sport mode sees the torque being split 30:70. Meanwhile in Track mode, torque is distributed 50:50.
Since the version offered in Malaysia is the top of the line Performance Pack Edition, the GR Yaris also gets Torsen limited slip differential (LSD), beefier suspension, 18-inch forged BBS Alloy Wheels, as well as Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres.
Built on a unique platform combining Toyota’s new GA-B platform (from the new generation Yaris hatchback) and a rear section adapted from the GA-C platform (used for the Corolla and C-HR), the GR Yaris is the first production model to built at the bespoke GR factory at Motomachi, Japan – the same facility responsible for building the Lexus LFA supercar.
UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd is also offering an Early Bird Package that will see buyers of the GR Yaris receiving an exclusive helmet bag, a GR Yaris scale model and undergoing a GR Yaris Driving Experience in 2021, the combined package of which is worth RM5,000.
Weighing just 1,280kg, the GR Yaris is fitted with various lightweight components like the roof made of a new forged (rather than woven) carbon material and C-SMC (carbon sheet moulding compound), aluminium doors, thin-sheet steel wings, as well as light and strong high-tensile steels in critical areas.
Stopping power comes in the form of 356 mm ventilated two-piece brake discs with a four-piston red aluminium GR calipers at the front, and 297 mm ventilated discs with a two-piston aluminium red GR calipers at the rear. The GR Yaris is also fitted with a mechanical hand-operated parking brake for extreme cornering in rally stage driving.
On the exterior, key features include a large opening at the front which takes the shape of the radiator, LED lights, vertical intakes on both sides of the front bumper to cool the brakes, tapered roof and rear pillars, and a high-mounted GR spoiler.
Inside, the GR Yaris comes with leather sports seats with red stitching in front, all-black leather seats in the rear, a bespoke GR leather steering wheel, black and smoke silver trim on the door handles, side air vents and centre console, as well as drilled aluminium pedals.
The list of standard equipment on the hand includes a 4.2-inch TFT colour multi-information display (MID) with an all-wheel drive indicator, a Head-up display (HUD), a 7” inch touch screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a six-speaker audio system.
Also standard are the dual zone automatic climate control air-conditioning, electrochromic mirror rear view mirror, electric power steering (EPS), a smart entry system, a push start button with a GR emblem, and power windows with (Auto Up / Down with Jam Protection).
There is also an engine sound enhancement system that transmits engine sound into the cabin to make things more exciting for the driver and occupants.
Where safety is concerned, the GR Yaris comes with 6 airbags, Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), automatic retractable wing mirrors, automatic wipers with rain sensor, DVR, rear parking sensors, tyre pressure monitor system (TPMS), ISOFIX, an intrusion sensor, and Toyota’s premium security and solar film window tint.
The car also comes with Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction control (TRC) with Expert mode, ABS, Brake Assist, EBD, and Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) features that include a Pre-Crash System (PCS); Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC); Lane Departure Alert (LDA); Lane Tracing Assist (LTA); and Auto High Beam (AHB). Vehicle Telematics System is available as an optional accessory.
Fully-backed by a five-year warranty program, only 200 units of the Toyota GR Yaris will be available for our market, in three colour choices – Platinum White Pearl, Emotional Red 2, and Precious Black.