The 2020 GR Yaris is Toyota's Pint-Sized Take on the WRX & Evo, But is it Coming to America?
While the days of awesome Japanese performance cars not being sold in the American market are largely over, there’s always exceptions. Next year Toyota is planning to debut a rally-inspired hot hatchback that we’d desperately like to see stateside.
Based on the new overseas market Yaris hatchback, the Yaris GR is set to go on sale next year and it won't just be a Yaris with more power and a sportier look. In fact, it might be one of the coolest small enthusiast cars in recent memory.
You probably remember the Yaris as being Toyota's small, cheap and rather boring subcompact offering, but the only thing the GR Yaris shares with that car is the name and its basic hatchback profile. Although still in prototype form, Toyota's has already said the car will be an AWD, rally-bred performance machine the spirit of the WRX, Evo, and the old Toyota Celica GT4—only in a smaller, and likely cheaper package.
Final specs of the car haven't been confirmed, but it will have a 1.6 liter turbocharged engine that should make in the neighborhood of 250 horsepower and it will have standard AWD with multiple traction modes. Better yet, the only gearbox will be a six-speed manual.
Toyota says its applied a lot of tricks used with its Yaris WRC cars over the last few years, the overall look of the GR Yaris has a very rally-inspired feel to it with big bulging fenders and a massive intercooler opening up front. In the last several years Toyota has constantly stated its intentions to build more fun cars, and this thing looks like a riot.
Unfortunately, as cool as the Yaris GR is it’s unlikely the car will be sold in the United States as Toyota isn’t even offering the next gen Yaris in our small car-adverse market. Then again, this is the same company that’s recently built TRD versions of the Camry and Avalon, so maybe there’s some hope after all?
Whatever the case, the GR Yaris looks like it might be the most exciting Toyota-built product since the 86, we just hope it won't be forbidden fruit for the USA.
Looking for more on Toyota's commitment to build exciting cars, check out the replica Nürburgring it built in Japan.