Here’s a new subcompact car from Toyota for everyone else outside of Japan to drool over. It is the Toyota GR Yaris Special Edition, a homologation model of the FIA WRC, developed from the ground up with Tommi Mäkinen Racing. See why you should be drooling over this ride now?

Needless to say, we are digging the low-riding, wide body treatment, but that’s just scratching the surface. The real magic here is what under the carbon fiber-reinforced plastic and aluminum shell and hood.

Toyota GR Yaris Special Edition RZ

In place of the usual 1 or 1.5L motor, the GR Yaris packs a 1.6L inline 3-cylinder DOHC direct-injection turbocharged engine G16E-GTS that puts out 200 kW (268 HP) and a beefy 370 Nm (272.9 lb-ft) of torque.

Through an iMT 6-speed manual transmission, the power is put to good use by Toyota’s “GR-FOUR” sports 4WD system. In between, there are, of course, Torsen limited-slip differential (LSD) front and rear and electronically controlled multi-plate clutch center differential.

GR Yaris offers three 4WD modes (normal/sport/track). It gets MacPherson strut front and double wishbone rear, ventilated disc all-round and it rides on massive 18-inch wheels wrapped in 225/40ZR18 rubbers.

Two special editions are being offered in Japan: the RZ “First Edition” and the RZ “High-performance First Edition.”

Pre-orders, which is strictly online, kicked off on January 10 and will run through till June 30. It is nice to see Toyota taking performance subcompact seriously and not just slapping go-fast badges and call it a day.

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However, such homologation with real performance does not come cheap. Conservatively, you are looking more than double the starting price of the 2020 Toyota Yaris in Japan (or possibly anywhere else, except for Singapore).

The special edition RZ “First Edition” sells for 3.96 million yen (including consumption tax) while the RZ “High-performance First Edition” commands a hefty 4.56 million yen (also with consumption tax).

That works out to be around US$36,030 and US$41,490. In contrast, a 1.5L 4-cylinder XLE in stateside starts at $18,750 and in Japan, 1.75 million yen (about US$16,000) for the G 1.5L CVT 2WD.

Images: Toyota Motor Corporation.

Published by Mike

Avid tech enthusiast, gadget lover, marketing critic and most importantly, love to reason and talk.