Here’s something interesting – Toyota distributor UMW Toyota Motor has just posted a photo of the GR Yaris on its Facebook page. That on its own isn’t such big news, and indeed the company didn’t make any mention of whether the potent hot hatch is indeed coming to Malaysia, let alone a timeframe for its arrival.
That being said, it almost never posts anything about a Toyota that isn’t going to be sold in Malaysia, and even when it does, it usually moves quickly to confirm that the car isn’t coming. As such, this is probably as close to a confirmation as we can get at this point.
While a Malaysian launch of the GR Yaris might raise some eyebrows, it actually makes a lot of sense. Setting up a series of GR Garage outlets for the Supra would’ve cost UMW Toyota a lot of effort and money, which need to be recouped somehow. Adding the Yaris to complement its halo sports car would draw more visitors and, of course, potential buyers.
The GR Yaris would certainly shake up the hot hatch market if and when it does come here. Underneath the blistered rally-ready three-door body lies a new G16E-GTS 1.6 litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine, which produces 272 PS and 370 Nm of torque. All this power is routed through a six-speed manual gearbox to an all-wheel-drive system with twin Torsen locking differentials.
Given the amount of bespoke componentry on board (the standard European-market Yaris is only available as a five-door and comes with a torsion beam rear suspension, whereas the GR rides on a double-wishbone rear axle), the car will not come cheap. Expect the GR Yaris’ pricing to rival that of the Honda Civic Type R, which, before the sales and service tax (SST) rebate, was priced at RM330,000.