Toyota will turn up the wick on its GR Yaris hot hatch in the first half of 2021, confirming Europe’s Performance Pack will be coming Down Under as a limited-edition Rallye model.
Just 250 examples will come to Australia in the first half of 2021, priced above the regular GR Yaris that retails for $49,500 before on-roads ($39,950 drive-away at launch).
Power comes from the same turbocharged 1.6-litre three-cylinder engine with 200kW of power and 370Nm of torque, but the Rallye gets a host of track-ready add-ons:
- Race suspension
- Front and rear locking differentials
- 18-inch forged BBS alloy wheels
- Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres
- Red brake calipers
Toyota is dipping its toe into the world of more hardcore, expensive performance cars with the Rallye, and didn’t rule out bringing more to Australia if the initial allocation sells out overnight.
“We need to just test that market, and evaluate as we go on the journey,” said Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia vice president of sales and marketing.
“It’s suitable for track and road, but it’s more suited and aimed at true track performance enthusiasts.
“It’s quite a different car, therefore we’ll start at 250 and work our way up… We’re not limited to strictly 250, we’ll test the market and see where we go,” he said.
Toyota initially indicated the GR Yaris would miss out on the Performance Pack being offered in Europe when Australian media drove the car in Portugal last year.
The regular GR Yaris will touch down locally in November, priced from $39,950 drive-away for the first 1000 customers.
Order books open at midday on Wednesday, September 23, and prospective buyers can lock in a car with a $1000 deposit.
Why the bargain drive-away price? Toyota Australia says it’s using the GR Yaris as an “investment” in the Gazoo Racing brand, giving enthusiasts a chance to experience what marketing director Sean Hanley describes as a “performance thoroughbred”.
“We want to excite as many fans as possible with a price that makes GR Yaris more appealing, and genuinely attainable” Mr Hanley today told media.
Mr Hanley said the drive-away price will “accelerate the awareness and excitement around the GR brand by ensuring we have a substantial number of cars on the road”.
Toyota is pushing to make the GR brand a “market-leading performance brand” in Australia, although it acknowledges that won’t happen overnight.
Unlike the Supra, which has been heavily constrained by limited supply, Toyota says there should be no problem meeting GR Yaris demand in the first year.
The GR Yaris undercuts the Hyundai i30 N ($41,400 before on-roads) at its drive-away launch price. However its $49,500 list price puts it into competition with the Honda Civic Type R ($51,990 list) and Renault Megane RS Cup ($52,490 list).