Toyota Motor Thailand has begun accepting pre-bookings for the GR Yaris, which will make its debut at this year’s Thailand International Motor Expo in Bangkok. According to a report by Headlightmag, the hot hatch is expected to carry a price tag of just under 2.7 million baht (RM363,969), with deliveries set to take place in 2021.
Referring to the company’s official registration of interest page, the GR Yaris will be offered in Thailand in three colours – Super White II, Emotional Red II and Precious Black. The page also includes some preliminary equipment, including leather/Ultrasuede seat upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 4.2-inch TFT multi-info display and dual-zone climate control.
Of course, the main draw is what’s under the bonnet, and the Thailand-market GR Yaris will pack a 1.6 litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine rated at 261 PS and 360 Nm of torque (European tune). The mill is paired with a six-speed iMT (Intelligent Manual Transmission) manual gearbox (with rev-matching function) and GR-Four AWD system, the latter with front and rear Torsen limited-slip differentials.
There’s also an aluminium central transfer case with an electronically-controlled multi-plate clutch that splits the torque 40:60 front to rear in Normal mode, 30:70 in Sport mode and 50:50 in Track mode, all selectable via a switch on the centre console.
All this tech, along with the Toyota Safety Sense suite of systems, is packaged in a body that has been designed for World Rally Championship (WRC) aerodynamic regulations. Unlike the regular Euro-market Yaris, the full-fat GR version is 60 mm wider (1,805 mm) and 45 mm lower (1,455 mm) than the regular hatch, while the trailing edge of the roof is 95 mm lower.
The three-door body style is also 55 mm longer (3,995 mm) than the regular five-door model, and weight-saving initiatives include using aluminium for various body panels as well as carbon-fibre reinforced polymer for the roof.
It isn’t just the exterior that’s different, as the GR Yaris’ TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) chassis is a hybrid of the GA-B and GA-C versions. This allows for double wishbones to be fitted at the rear instead of a torsion beam, creating room for the differential and half shafts. The hot hatch also gets 356-mm front disc brakes with four-pot calipers, while the rear gets 294-mm disc and two-pot calipers.
With the order books for the GR Yaris already open in Thailand, will Malaysians also have access to the hot hatch of the moment? Well, UMW Toyota Motor has previously hinted at the model’s arrival, although there’s no confirmation as of yet. Given the pricing in Thailand, how much do you think the hot hatch will be if it comes here?
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