Toyota GR Yaris review – engine, gearbox and technical highlights

The 1.6-litre triple is a little gem of an engine, bespoke to the GR Yaris and brilliant

Evo rating
  • Huge cross-country pace belies figures on paper; sense of purpose; gutsy engine
  • Steering and chassis balance could be sharper still; seating position high

The purpose-designed G16E-GTS three-cylinder engine displaces 1.6 litres and with the aid of a turbocharger produces 257bhp and 265lb ft of torque. Drive is taken through a six-speed manual transmission to the GR-Four chassis, which is Toyota’s name for a full-time four-wheel-drive set-up based around an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch.

In theory 0 to 100 per cent of the torque can be sent to the front or the rear, but in reality there are three modes to choose from. Normal equates to a 60:40 torque split with a front bias, Sport flips that with a 30:70 split, and Track is 50:50.

There’s so much to say about the technical make-up of the GR Yaris, but the short version is that the body shares only its front and rear lamps and its door mirrors with the regular Yaris. Yes, it may be a small, three-door (hurrah!) hatchback, but the GR is a very special piece of kit designed specifically for the intended job.

There’s a carbonfibre roof, aluminium bonnet and doors, and numerous engineering solutions designed to make this Yaris the ideal basis for a rally car, whether in the top category of the sport or the WRC2 class.

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