First drive in the new Toyota GR Yaris: It’s a hell of a lot of fun

The new Toyota GR Yaris makes a hell of a lot of fun in the first test

Steering rear, spontaneously responsive engine and on the right surface are drifts in it – AUTO BILD drove the new Toyota GR Yaris.

W.hat does it take to develop a small car based on a rally car? A lot of courage, technical know-how – and a company boss who is completely crazy about motorsport. The result: the Toyota GR Yaris. The small car is consistently geared towards driving pleasure. The key data: 261 hp from a 1.6-liter three-cylinder with turbocharging, 360 Newton meters, 5.5 seconds to 100 km / h and 230 km / h is limited. The permanent “GR Four” all-wheel drive sends the power to the front and rear axles via a transfer case, depending on the driving mode. AUTO BILD drove the GR Yaris, which cost at least 37,690 euros, with a high-performance package, in which a Torsen diff at the front and rear distributes the power between the left and right wheel depending on the grip conditions. And to anticipate a little conclusion – it is a hell of a lot of fun!

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The engine responds spontaneously to gas commands from approx. 3000 tours and turns unusually linear for a turbo until just before 7000 tours. Oh yes, and we almost forgot a crucial driving fun detail: the six-speed manual gearshift with double-declutching function, which wants to be forcefully forced into the lanes on pleasantly short distances – and not jagged, but nice and crisp.

Toyota GR Yaris !! Embargo on November 13th 3pm !!

The GR Yaris can still be neatly turned into the bend even with hard deceleration.

© Toyota

Even when braking down again, the GR shows its potential. The slotted discs with four-piston calipers at the front decelerate perfectly and remain constant even after many laps. But what impresses us most is the immense braking stability. Even with hard deceleration, the Yaris can still be neatly turned into the bend without the rear getting too nervous. Only in medium-fast corners does the hindquarters get nervous when pulling the gas. However, this oversteer can be used specifically to reduce the perceived curve radius without large steering movements. This is exactly what it is when racing professionals talk about the rear end being “helping to steer”. Most of the time we can accelerate again before the apex of the bend, the rest is done by the limited slip differentials with their variable power distribution.

Drifting is on gravel and wet roads

Toyota GR Yaris !! Embargo on November 13th 3pm !!

Drifting on dry asphalt is hardly possible without tricks, the engine has too little steam for that.

© Toyota

And the drifting? Hardly possible on dry asphalt without tricks, because the engine has too little steam for a simple power oversteer, and the sport mode never sends more than 70 percent of the power to the rear. As a result, the front hand pulls the GR Yaris discreetly over and over again. The all-wheel drive system could theoretically direct 100 percent of the power to the rear, but this talent was programmed into it through the driving modes. No problem on gravel and in wet conditions! A slight, provoked loss of adhesion is usually sufficient – be it through a high-speed throttle or through a short commute. Oh, that’s fun. And thanks to the pleasantly tight and beautifully precise steering, the Japanese athlete can be captured again at any time. (Calculate maintenance costs? To the car insurance comparison)

Conclusion from Alexander Bernt: At almost 38,000 euros, Toyota charges a lot of money for a small car, but measured against the effort involved, almost a snapper. Dear Lancer Evo or WRX STi pilots: Here comes the legitimate successor.


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