The Toyota Yaris, for some reason or another, seems to get plenty of attention from the Japanese automaker’s motorsport-bred tuning division. Prior to this, their fondness for the Euro-spec hatch manifested as the Yaris GRMN, a limited edition 3-door with a supercharged four-pot and a knack for making driver’s smile.
Now that an all-new Yaris has been rolled out, the Gazoo Racing division has teased the GR-4, which is due to be unveiled at Rally Australia later this month. Only a single image has been published so far, partially showing a squat rear end of a car covered in that familiar red, white and grey/black camouflage wrap pattern.
With a name like GR-4, unless Toyota is purposefully throwing us off the scent, we expect it to feature a rally-inspired all-wheel drive layout, potentially making it one of the most potent small hatchbacks in a very long time.
It’s possible that the Yaris GRMN’s 155kW 1.8-litre engine will be carried over into the GR-4 along with its precise 6-speed gearbox, and the much more sophisticated TNGA platform will no doubt compensate for the structural deficiencies of the previous hot Yaris. Likewise, brace for this new car to also be irritatingly limited in numbers.
That said, the final stretch of 2019 will be an exciting time for Toyota fans as, in addition to this firecracker of a hot hatch, the company will has confirmed that an all-new generation of their 86 coupe - again co-developed with Subaru - will be premiering at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show.
By the start of 2020, the Toyota high performance portfolio should have at least 3 new and very desirable members, including the A90 Supra. On the horizon, there’s also rumours of the new Corolla hatch spawning a new variant of equal go-fast calibre, again courtesy of their GR division. And who’s to say that the return of a Celica or an MR2 is totally off the table?