A new, true pocket rocket is a refreshing thing in this world of heavy SUVs with automatic gearboxes. Once in a while it does the soul good to clamber into a small, light, raucous tin can of a car with race seats that loves to rev high and dart, ninja-style, through the streets. The new GR Yaris does all that in spades, plus it has proper World Rally Championship heritage, given it has been created with input from the same Toyota Gazoo Racing team that builds rally cars for current championship leader Elfyn Evans. It might not have the same sponsors' logos or mad aerodynamic aids but it shares exactly the same DNA under the skin and is a true homologation special, not simply a ruded up version of the regular Yaris.
Here are 10 reasons you need to book a test drive:
- 1) Only 750 will be sold in the UK: specialist GR Toyota retailers can help
- 2) Strong residuals equal good PCP deals (£269 a month or yours from £29,995)
- 3) 261 horsepower combined with 1,280kg means a power-to-weight ratio of 4.9kg per horse. Which equals F.U.N.
- 4) It’s got four-wheel drive, just like the rally version driven by Elfyn Evans
- 5) 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds
- 6) There’s a unique carbon-weave roof
- 7) An IMT (intelligent manual transmission) button smooths out gear changes by matching the revs, which flatters the driver at their discretion
- 8) Two limited-slip differentials and red brake calipers offered with the circuit pack
- 9) Head-up display, ambient lighting and parking sensors with convenience pack
- 10) It’s a proper, red-blooded Japanese hot hatch with a serious competition legacy