The Toyota GR Yaris came as a big surprise when it debuted in 2020. It was far from the most exciting model in Toyota’s lineup, and it was last on our list of models we expected to be the basis of a sporty car. However, the automaker has managed to create a stunning bite-sized performance vehicle that has all the ingredients needed to become a future icon.
The heart of the car is its 1.6-liter three-cylinder engine. It produces 257 horsepower (189 kW) and 266 pound-feet (360 Newton meters) of torque in Europe. The JDM-spec car makes 286 hp (210 kW). Toyota transmits all that power to both axles via a six-speed manual, but an automatic gearbox is on the way.
The three-door, high-powered hatchback isn’t available in the U.S., so American customers won’t be able to enjoy the run. However, Toyota will sell us the larger GR Corolla. It’s slightly more powerful than the smaller Yaris, but it’s much more practical with two extra doors and more space between the wheels. The GR Corolla has the same engine as the Yaris, but it makes 300 hp (224 kW) and 273 lb-ft (370 Nm) of torque.
The Corolla may have more power, but a new video from the Corners CZ YouTube channel shows that the Yaris can have plenty of fun without looking like its big brother. The short video shows how to push the small car beyond its limits at relatively low speeds. Plenty of throttle input and quick acceleration helps the car through the turns, along with aggressive use of the handbrake through corners.
The GR Yaris can sprint from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in less than five seconds, and Toyota electronically limits the top speed to 143 mph (230 km/h). Gives. Those aren’t supercar numbers, but they’re still impressive. Despite having an all-wheel drive system, the sporty Yaris weighs just 2,822 pounds (1,280 kg), which helps its performance capabilities. It also has two torsion limited slip differentials, a wider rear track, and a lower roof.