Motoring review with Leigh Robinson
If there was ever a car which deserved the title ‘pocket rocket’ then that should go to the Toyota GR Yaris.
At first you might easily mistake the GR for a regular Yaris with chunky sports seats and some funky dials and while it looks fairly subdued it is certainly no normal hatch. And as Toyota like to point out they didn’t want a car to turn heads, but one to lift trophies.
The GR Yaris combines a thrilling 1.6 litre, three cylinder turbo engine with a four wheel drive system which develops 257bhp and 360Nm between 3,000-4,600rpm.
This will give you 0-62mph time in just 5.5sec and a top speed, which has been electronically limited to 143mph even though the speedometer goes to 180mph and a rev counter which red lines at 7,000rpm! Miles per gallon is just over 34mpg and CO2 is 186g/km.
A World Rally Car for the road - is how Toyota described their latest baby but it is not cheap and costs between £30,000 to £33,500 depending on your model.
The GR Yaris is the first Toyota four-wheel-drive road car that isn’t an SUV for more than 20 years, the previous one being the Celica GT4 which was also adapted for rallying.
The GR weighs in at just short of 1300kg but it feels just great when you climb in and settle down into the bucket seat for the first time.
But when you get going it's like a whole different driving experience. The straight line performance cannot be beaten by any other car in its class.
Among the many toys is the IMT which is the small button down in the centre console. It stands for Intelligent Manual Transmission which shows you to rev the three-cylinder engine right out to its red line before changing gear.
Next to the IMT button is the rotational dial which switches the differentials between Normal, Sport and Track modes.
Experts agree the GR drives even better than it looks and while £30,000 plus might sound like a lot of money you are paying for an awful lot of car, and then some.