Japan's new lineup has just been announced.
At the beginning of the year, we learned that the Toyota GR Yaris would have a three-cylinder turbo with 268 horsepower. After creating quite a stir with its claims of rally breeding and an all-wheel-drive system, Toyota USA asked if we would like to receive the model in the States. While we don't yet know what the plans for our market are it may still be a tough sell, thanks to an international price tag around the $37,000 mark. For now, we can do nothing but wait and watch what the rest of the world gets. In Japan, it has just been announced that there will be three variants of the GR Yaris.
These three models will be the RZ, the RS, and the RC.
The RZ is the enthusiast's road racer, with a six-speed manual and all-wheel-drive. This version also gets forged BBS wheels, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, and front and rear Torsen limited-slip differentials. The next model in the lineup, the RS, is a less focused variant that comes with a CVT that mimics the actions of a conventional 10-speed automatic transmission. Finally, the RC is a stripped-out model intended to be customized to suit racing in various formats. The same sort of mechanical enhancements found in the RZ are present here, but luxuries like a sound system have been removed to save weight.
So Japan will be getting a number of options, while we still don't know if we'll even get the regular model that will be sold in Europe. From a brand that sells only the Toyota Supra as a thoroughbred performance car, Toyota's image could gain significant traction by offering a more affordable and more manageable driving experience that is still thrilling and fun. But with such a high price, this may be tricky. Nevertheless, we long for cool Toyotas again, and the GR Yaris could be just the right model to get a new generation of car enthusiasts excited about the brand.