Rally fans rejoice .... Toyota Australia has revealed a significant investment in its emerging GR brand, with customers of the 200kW GR Yaris set to reap a substantial bottom-line benefit when the high-performance sports car arrives in November.
GR Yaris will storm onto the local market as a single, high-specification grade with an introductory driveaway price of $39,9501 - limited to the first 1,000 vehicles sold.
Toyota Australia's Vice President Sales and Marketing Sean Hanley said pre-sales will start next week with the sub-$40,000 on-road price expected to make GR Yaris the most affordable pure performance car on the market.
"This substantial local financial commitment for the first 1,000 vehicles will advance our budding GR brand, accelerate the acceptance of GR Yaris on Australian roads and convert enthusiast customers into brand advocates," Mr Hanley said.
"It is a smart local investment that will ignite the market with an attainable pure-bred sports car that would otherwise carry a recommended retail price of $49,5002.
"Our no-holds-barred strategy will ensure GR Yaris appeals to an even greater number of fans as a genuine sports car that lives up to Toyota's promise of making ever-better cars that are fun to drive."
Mr Hanley also announced the introduction of a limited-edition GR Yaris Rallye in the first half of next year with upgrades that make it an even more focused, high-speed performance package designed for circuit racing.
"GR Yaris is the first all-Toyota sports car developed in more than 20 years - the car our global president Akio Toyoda dreamed of making," Mr Hanley said.
"It was born from our success in the heat of motorsport - developed by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing in collaboration with Tommi Mäkinen Racing, our title-winning World Rally Championship (WRC) team.
"This partnership has brought motorsport design and technology directly to GR Yaris, which is our first homologation model for WRC competition since the end of production of the Celica GT-Four in 1999.
"You can expect the lessons we've learnt and the agility spearheaded by this 'born from WRC' approach to be incorporated into the development of future Toyota models."
Mr Hanley said GR Yaris - as a high-performance thoroughbred with 200kW on tap, a power-to-weight ratio of 156kW per tonne3 and 0-100km/h acceleration in 5.2 seconds - is a class above hot hatches in the light and small-car segments.
"GR Yaris will compete head-to-head against pure performance cars such as the Honda Civic Type R, VW Golf R and Renault Megane RS with price-tags of $50,000 or higher.
"At the same time, it will have a significant performance advantage over conventional hot hatches, while competing against them on price."
GR Yaris pre-sales through Toyota dealers - including online pre-orders from myToyota members - start at noon AEST on Wednesday, 23 September.
The first 50 myToyota members who pre-order online will be eligible to save 20c per litre off Caltex fuel for 12 months after taking delivery of their all-new GR Yaris4.
Mr Hanley said next year's GR Yaris Rallye promises an even richer experience for enthusiasts who want to take their cars to the track.
Its performance upgrades include circuit-tuned suspension, Torsen5 limited-slip differentials on the front and rear axles, 18-inch BBS®5 forged alloy wheels with Michelin® Pilot Sport 4S5 tyres and red brake callipers.
The GR Yaris Rallye will be limited to approximately 250 examples with pricing to be announced closer to its introduction.
GR Yaris will be the second TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (GR) model available in the Australian market, joining the GR Supra which was launched last year.
With high power and low weight, it has all the credentials for competition success, and for delivering exhilarating performance with an ideal combination of speed, responsiveness and handling.
Every aspect has a performance focus: an all-new platform and engine, new suspension, lightweight construction, aerodynamic styling and a new GR-Four permanent all-wheel-drive system.
A unique three-door body - available in white, red or black exterior paint - is made from lightweight materials including carbon-fibre polymer for the roof and aluminium for the bonnet, doors and tailgate.
The new, dedicated platform combines the front end of Toyota's GA-B platform - which debuted in this year's all-new Yaris - with the rear of the GA-C platform used in Corolla.
This allows for a new multi-link rear suspension system, a wider track and accommodation of the GR-Four all-wheel drive system.
Power is delivered by a new compact and lightweight 200kW, 370Nm 1.6-litre three-cylinder engine that features a single-scroll ball-bearing turbo.
Motorsport technologies designed for maximum performance include multi-oil jet piston cooling, large-diameter exhaust valves and a part-machined intake port.
The DOHC 12-valve turbocharged engine is mated to an intelligent six-speed manual gearbox, engineered to accommodate high torque levels.
Performance brakes are 356mm x 28mm ventilated front discs with four-pot callipers and 297mm x 18mm ventilated rear discs with two-pot callipers. The system has been engineered to cope with rigorous demands of high-speed track driving.
Standard equipment includes a comprehensive Toyota Safety Sense package, auto air-conditioning, keyless smart entry and start, Apple CarPlay6 and Android Auto6, and 8-speaker JBL5 sound system. GR Yaris is also fitted with a rear spoiler, sports seats with suede and leather accents, aluminium pedals and dual exhaust tips.
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