The chorus of acclaim for the new Toyota GR Yaris grows louder as the rally-bred model celebrates winning the Top Gear Magazine Hot Hatch of the Year title, its third major award in three weeks since its UK launch.
Announced online yesterday evening (1 December), the honour recognises the qualities that set GR Yaris apart, a car that has been developed specifically as homologation model by Toyota Gazoo Racing, with direct input its World Rally Championship partner Tommi Mäkinen Racing.
Jack Rix, Top Gear Magazine Editor, said: “Rarely does a car come along with such fervent support from the Top Gear office, but everything about the GR seemed right.
“From its bespoke, inflated three-door shell, to its boosted three-cylinder engine and trick 4WD system, it’s a proper homologation special, real rally-tech for the road and built by a team at Gazoo Racing who were prepared to sweat the finer details to get it right. I can’t recall a car in the last five years that felt so right in our hands in the first 50 metres.”
GR Yaris uses the world’s most powerful three-cylinder engine, turbocharged to produce 257bhp – power enough to move the car from rest to 62mph in 5.5 seconds. It’s built on a dedicated chassis and uses Toyota’s new purpose-designed GR-Four all wheel drive system, adjustable for different front/rear drive balance to suit the conditions, from road to track to special stage. The Circuit Pack version includes GR-tuned suspension, front and rear Torsen limited-slip differentials, lightweight forged BBS alloys and Michelin Pilot 4S performance tyres.
The on-the-road GR Yaris prices start from just less than £30,000. During the model’s launch period there are competitive purchase offers for customers who want to be among the first to own the most talked-about new performance hatch of the year.