The idea is for the car to appeal to a broader audience.
The Toyota GR Yaris is near the top of the list of cars we desperately want but can't have. This rally-bred machine blew our minds, and we can't wait for its bigger brother, the GR Corolla, to arrive. The latter has a higher specific output (horsepower per liter) than a Ferrari 488 Pista.
However, we're not interested in the latest version of the GR Yaris. To make the GR Yaris more competitive against other overseas models like the VW Polo GTI and Ford Fiesta ST, Toyota will reportedly build a GR Yaris Lite.
According to Mag-X, a less hardcore model is under consideration to compete with cheaper compact hot hatch offerings.
Unlike the full-fat GR Yaris, equipped with an intelligent all-wheel-drive system and a six-speed manual, the proposed skimmed-milk GR Yaris will be detuned, and the power will be delivered to the front wheels via an automatic gearbox.
The idea is still being considered but if it does get the green light, it will likely hit showroom floors in late 2023 or early 2024.
The rumor suggests that the less angry version will cost between 26% to 36% percent less, depending on the trim level. That's a significant price reduction, inevitably making the GR Yaris more competitive in that segment. As it currently stands, the GR Yaris has no direct rival.
The Polo GTI and Fiesta ST are also front-wheel-drive, so perhaps the idea is not as silly as it seems.
The Fiesta ST is no longer available in the US, but we can tell you that it retails for the equivalent of $32,870 in the UK. VW charges $33,545 for a Polo GTI.
Toyota UK charges roughly $43,000 for the angriest GR Yaris (Circuit Pack). If the price reduction percentages are to be believed, you're looking at a saving of between $11,180 to $15,480. That would make the planned lightweight GR Yaris cheaper than its main rivals.
It's a solid business plan, but would you buy a toned-down FWD GR Yaris with an automatic gearbox? If we lived across the pond, we'd work a little harder and save up for the real deal.