Advertisement
Opinion

“Toyota brings motorsport back to the showroom”

With a lack of baby hot hatchbacks on the market, deputy editor John McIlroy can't wait for the Toyota GR Yaris to arrive

Opinion - Toyota GR Yaris

There was a time, about 25 years ago, when cars like the forthcoming Toyota GR Yaris were relatively common. Motorsport rules required manufacturers to make a certain number of hot production cars before they could enter competition. So driving enthusiasts could choose between the likes of the Lancia Delta Integrale, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, the Subaru Impreza STi and the Ford Escort Cosworth.

Advertisement - Article continues below

These days, though, there’s no obligation to make a homologation special – unless, as in the case of Toyota, you’re absolutely desperate to eke out every performance advantage possible. And at the same time, it’s becoming harder than ever to find an affordable baby hot hatchback. Ford Fiesta ST aside, there are precious few credible options. Even the Renaultsport Clio, a UK favourite, is unlikely to return for the latest generation.

Best hot hatchbacks on sale right now

So into all of this comes Toyota, with a car that appears, through hearsay and leaked information, to be a hot supermini like no other. It’s four-wheel drive, for starters. And about as powerful as a hot hatch from the class above. Auto Express broke the news of this car’s development more than a year ago and yet, as the details come out, it’s even wilder than we’d imagined.

Advertisement - Article continues below

It is also likely to be far more expensive than a Fiesta ST – perhaps double the price. And yet it promises to be a fascinating arrival – a whole new type of hot hatchback (not to mention a car that could spur Toyota’s rally rival Hyundai into something special with its i20 N).

In recent times, Toyota has built on its firmly middle-of-the-road reputation by becoming a champion for electrification and fuel efficiency. But its performance offerings – the old Yaris GRMN and the Supra – haven’t quite delivered on Akio Toyoda’s promise to make cars “fun to drive, again”. The very early signs are that the GR Yaris could be the car to address that. And if that’s the case, then it’s a 2020 debut that we should all celebrate.

Do you think the new Toyota GR Yaris will be a success? Let us know your thoughts below...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Toyota gives industry a lift with free THUMS crash test software
Toyota

Toyota gives industry a lift with free THUMS crash test software

Japanese manufacturer wants any company to be able to benefit from its human crash modelling software in the interests of safety
16 Jun 2020
Toyota latest car maker to suspend production over coronavirus
Toyota logo
Toyota

Toyota latest car maker to suspend production over coronavirus

In a bid to help contain coronavirus, Toyota has closed factories across Europe
27 Mar 2020
Subaru mysterious new concept electric SUV
Subaru EV concept
Subaru

Subaru mysterious new concept electric SUV

Subaru has revealed an unnamed concept SUV, which could be based on the brand’s forthcoming all-electric underpinnings
24 Jan 2020

Most Popular

New Skoda Octavia vRS 2020 ride review
Skoda Octavia vRS Hatchback

New Skoda Octavia vRS 2020 ride review

We get our first taste of 242bhp Skoda Octavia vRS with Skoda tech development boss Christian Strube in the driver’s seat
10 Jul 2020
SEAT Leon vs Volkswagen Golf vs Ford Focus
Family hatchbacks

SEAT Leon vs Volkswagen Golf vs Ford Focus

The Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and SEAT Leon are all long established hatchbacks - we find out which is best among the latest crop
11 Jul 2020
New Kia e-Niro 2020 review
Kia e-Niro SUV

New Kia e-Niro 2020 review

All-electric Kia e-Niro mid-sized SUV 
benefits from same updates as hybrid Niro versions
9 Jul 2020