Toyota is working on a more hardcore version of its GR Yaris with more power and less weight, and an expected 0-100km/h time well under five seconds.
Speaking to UK outlet Autocar, Toyota Gazoo Racing boss Naoyuki Sakamoto confirmed development is underway on a GR Yaris powered by the turbocharged 1.6-litre three-cylinder engine from the US-spec Toyota GR Corolla Morizo.
Instead of 200kW and 370Nm, the GR Yaris, expected to share the Morizo badge named for CEO Akio Toyoda’s racing pseudonym, would have the GR Corolla’s massive 224kW and 400Nm outputs.
This development is drawn from previous experience with GR Yaris race cars in Japan’s Super Taikyu series.
In addition to the drivetrain, Mr Sakamoto said some serious weight saving is on the cards, including the removal of the rear seats and leaving only the basics like a stereo and single-zone climate control in the cabin as comforts.
More power and a lower weight means a faster car, and this more hardcore Yaris could pip the run to 100km/h in less than 4.5 seconds, or 0.3sec faster than a Volkswagen Golf R. Its top speed is tipped at about 250km/h.
Mr Sakamoto also confirmed the Yaris has the potential to house the six-speed manual gearbox from the Corolla Morizo, replacing the Yaris’ own longer-ratio six-speed.
On top of the Morizo, an automatic GR Yaris is still on the way, with a torque converter auto likely to take up the job of switching cogs. Don’t expect sportier drive modes or drift modes, with Mr Sakamoto saying the car should be made to drive via driver control, not computers.
“We’re sticking to natural control of the vehicle,” he told Autocar. “If the vehicle is good enough to control, we don’t have to prepare any special mode.”
While the GR Yaris Morizo hasn’t officially been green-lit, Toyota’s onslaught of more exciting performance models means it’s well within possibility we’ll see a GR Yaris Morizo alongside the Corolla version which arrives here in limited numbers in early 2023.
If it does, it won’t be cheap, the GR Yaris Rallye launched at $54,500 before on-road costs and was snapped up quickly, showing Toyota it won’t need to add any more incentive than the idea of GR Yaris Morizo ownership in order to sell units.
Keyword: More power! Wilder Toyota GR Yaris in development, Gazoo boss confirms: Report>