More is more in the refreshed pocket-rocket GR Yaris

The fabled Toyota GR Yaris has received some notable upgrades, benefiting from technical, design and construction enhancements that promise to deliver an even greater driving experience. In the three years since the first car came off the line, intensive efforts have been invested in making it even better: more powerful, more responsive, more engaging and more rewarding to drive.

The bespoke GR Yaris chassis has been further strengthened and in the cabin the cockpit layout and driving position have been redrawn for a more authentic sports car feel, whether on-road driving or in motorsports competition. The suspension has also been adjusted for greater handling control and robust performance under high loads, with revised spring rates and a strengthened front shock absorber assembly.

Previously only available with a six-speed intelligent manual transmission, the GR Yaris now offers broader appeal for driving enthusiasts with the introduction of the automatic option which has been developed through hardcore use in professional motorsport.

TGR World Rally Team drivers put the new automatic transmission to the test on a range of road surfaces, including in the Japanese Rally Championship and Toyota GAZOO Racing Rally Challenge to ensure that the new transmission is durable and reliable as possible.

The new transmission’s control software has been optimised for dynamic driving, delicately sensing the driver’s operation of the accelerator and brakes to anticipate gear shifts before vehicle behaviour changes, providing incredibly fast and intuitive shifting.

The eight-speed automatic has been constructed using highly heat-resistant friction material in the clutch, with close ratios that make the most of the engine’s power band. Complementing the introduction of the automatic transmission is an increase in maximum engine outputs for the GR Yaris’ dynamic 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine regardless of transmission choice.

Power has been increased from 200kW to a peak 224kW at 6500rpm with torque also boosted by 30Nm to 400Nm from 3250-4600rpm. Power continues to be deployed to all four wheels with selectable torque distribution and a new drive mode select system which adjusts the electronic power steering, air conditioning and powertrain settings in accordance with user preferences.


Visual upgrades inside and out have been added to the GR Yaris, including tilting the dashboard and multimedia screen towards the driver by 15 degrees to aid operability. Safety and convenience has also been increased on the new GR Yaris with additional active safety features and Toyota Connected Services added for greater occupant protection.

The new GR Yaris offers everything that made the original such a success, but more so. As a result, it promises to set itself even further ahead of the competition.

Toyota South Africa Motors can confirm that the refreshed GR Yaris is being considered for local introduction and that further details will be shared at an opportune time.