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Review – Toyota GR Yaris (2024), a deranged Yaris

March 4, 2024

Toyota GR Yaris: a success number

Toyota has made several changes that make it fair to speak of the “new” GR Yaris. In this review of the 2024 Toyota GR Yaris, we’re going to update you on exactly what has been changed, but first a look back at the first GR Yaris. Since the model’s launch in 2020, more than 20,000 units of the GR Yaris have been sold in Europe.

Toyota GR Yaris 2024 only as a Circuit version

Most of the units sold were the Circuit version, called the Performance in the Netherlands. Hence the decision to provide the new model exclusively in this version. In the ‘Circuit’ specification, the GR Yaris also has a cooling performance pack consisting of an additional radiator, intercooler spray and a modified air intake. This should improve reliability at full throttle.

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Three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine

There is more. The three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine of the Toyota GR Yaris 2024 has even more power than before. Engine power has been increased by 20 hp and the driver can call upon an additional 30 Nm of torque. This results in an output of 206 kW (280 hp) and a torque of a whopping 390 Nm. The engine should also be a bit more durable. In Japan, the three-cylinder even kicks it up to 224 kW (304 hp) and 400 Nm. The lower engine output in Europe is due to stricter emissions requirements.

Features of the new G16E-GTS engine include reinforced camshaft, new exhaust valve material and an increase in D-4ST fuel injection pressure. New lightweight pistons with wear rings were fitted and a new intake pressure sensor was added.

GAZOO Racing Direct Automatic transmission

An important novelty is the arrival of an … automatic transmission! Yes indeed, Toyota is introducing a so-called GAZOO Racing Direct Automatic transmission. This is an eight-speed automatic. An option, as a six-speed manual transmission is standard.

Toyota GR Yaris also with automatic transmission

Eight resistances

Why an automatic? Several track tests proved that the automatic version is faster compared to the manual. Thanks to eight instead of six gears, smaller ratios were achieved. The automatic also benefits from a new torque control system. The use of highly heat-resistant material in the clutch and a specific adjustment of the control software results in lightning-fast shifts. And you notice this in practice. We’ll come back to that in a moment.


There is a choice of Sport, Normal and Eco driving modes. Each driving mode affects the electric power steering, air conditioning operation, throttle response and the driver’s instrument display. In models with the new automatic transmission, the shift feel and program is also modified. In M mode, the driver can shift gears by himself. The right way, by the way, because pulling is upshifting and pushing is downshifting. So as it should be.

Available in different colors


Remaining is the electronically controlled, permanent all-wheel drive system GR-FOUR. This AWD system was developed specifically for the car and offers three modes: Normal, Sport and Track. Each position affects power distribution to the front and rear wheels.


Extra glue = extra stiff

Is there any more news to report? Definitely! The lightweight body of the Toyota GR Yaris is even stiffer than before due to about 13% more welding points and the use of about 24% more structural glue. The platform itself has remained basically the same. Designed specifically for the GR Yaris, the platform combines the front end of the Yaris’ GA-B structure with a new rear end manufactured from Toyota’s larger GA-C platform.


Suspension systems were retained with MacPherson struts in the front and double wishbone wishbones in the rear. But Toyota did make improvements based on feedback from race drivers. Adding additional bolts to attach the front shock absorbers to the body suppresses changes in alignment that can occur when the upper bushing deforms when driving under high loads. The front and rear springs have also been modified for optimum performance and better handling control.

Drifting with a GR Yaris is perfectly possible

Cool interior

The interior makes us particularly happy, as the dashboard gives that real rally feel. Controls that need to be used frequently in racing – such as intercooler spray, ESP off and hazard lights – have been placed closer to the driver so that they can be accessed quickly and easily when using a racing harness. On the passenger side, the stowage area has been made larger to allow room for fitting additional counters or a passenger monitor.

Better vision

The driver’s field of vision from the steering wheel was improved by lowering the top edge of the instrument panel 50 mm, changing the position of the rear-view mirror and tilting the control panel 15 degrees further toward the driver.

Interior GR Yaris

Digital instrumentation

The instrument cluster includes a new all-digital 12.3-inch combimeter with two layout modes: normal and sport, the latter offering a sports performance-oriented data display.

Lower sitting position, nice!

The seating position – a thorny point of the first-generation GR Yaris – has also been greatly improved. The seat has been lowered 25 mm and the steering wheel adjusted accordingly for finding the perfect seating position. Before, you were just a little too high. That has now been resolved.

Toyota GR Yaris design

Has the design been changed as well? Yes indeed, but in a subtle way. At the front of the car, a new steel grille was installed for the lower grille. The side grille has a larger opening and the lower bumper a new split construction that makes repair or replacement easier and cheaper. At the rear, an opening in the lower trim allows air to escape through the bottom. This reduces drag and better dissipates heat from the exhaust system.

Toyota GR Yaris 2024

Rear lamp modifications

The fog and reverse lights are no longer incorporated into the bumper, but are integrated into the taillight units. This reduces the risk of damage. The third brake light has been moved from the rear spoiler to a lower position on the tailgate, so that all the taillights are aligned and clearly visible to following traffic. Moving the third brake light also makes it easier to change or modify the rear spoiler.

Interested in a new GR Yaris? Then know that the model will be available in Emotional Red, Precious Black and Super White/Platinum White Pearlescent colors as well as the new Precious Metal. Do you choose the automatic? Then you get forged alloy wheels, a JBL sound system and rear and side sensors as extras. Toyota will introduce the new GR Yaris in summer 2024 in selected European markets, including the Netherlands. An award? Count on an amount of about 70,000 euros.

Also special designs

Toyota will also eventually produce special versions of the new GR Yaris, named after the brand’s two WRC drivers. The Sébastien Ogier Special Edition and Kalle Rovanperä Special Edition are already on display at the 2024 Tokyo Salon as study models. 200 units per edition will follow, 100 for Japan and 100 for Europe. The Netherlands will receive only 1 copy of each edition.

The limited editions were developed with personal input from Toyota GAZOO Racing World Rally Team (TGR-WRT) champions Sébastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanperä. The new models were developed based on concept versions previously shown at the 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon. Drivers Sébastien Ogier – who won two of his eight WRC drivers’ titles with TGR-WRT, in 2020 and 2021, and Kalle Rovanperä, the winner in 2022 and 2023, contributed to the development.

Ogier Edition GR Yaris

The Ogier Edition GR Yaris has two new AWD modes: Morizo and Seb. Morizo mode was developed by Morizo (Akio Toyoda) based on his experiences in rally driving. It is calibrated to deliver consistent race times in acceleration, partial acceleration and braking. Seb mode, developed by Ogier, uses the Torsen front and rear limited slip differentials and all-wheel drive to distribute torque to the rear axle, allowing the rear of the car to break out with relative ease.

The body of the Ogier Edition has a special matte Stealth Grey paint job and features the French flag (Ogier’s home country) on the radiator grille and 18x8J BBS alloy wheels. The front fenders feature WRC decals.

Rovanperä Edition GR Yaris

The Rovanperä Edition has a unique Donut mode, developed especially for the WRC’s youngest champion, who is very adept at drifting and making donuts. In particular, the new mode sends torque to the rear wheels at a ratio of 90/10. This GR Yaris version also offers the Kalle Mode. It uses a unique rear differential and Torsen limited-slip differentials front and rear for linear handling. The rear of the car can break out forcefully when entering a corner, then the front end can be positioned very precisely with the throttle.

How does the new Toyota GR Yaris (2024) drive?

The new Toyota GR Yaris is a car to fall in love with. The balance in the car is sensational. In Finland, we drove both the outgoing model and the new one, both manual and automatic. What is particularly noticeable is the significantly better seating position in the new GR Yaris. You sit much lower in the Toyota GR Yaris 2024, which makes you feel even better with your bibs what the car is doing. Moreover, outward visibility is also much better, due to the different placement of the interior mirror and the modified dashboard, with fantastic retro sauce. The manual transmission offers more involvement while driving, while the automatic version provides more peace of mind when you’re steering briskly. Still, we prefer the manual transmission because we have more fun with it. Moreover, as a driver, you feel more at one with the car. One thing is certain: the Toyota GR Yaris is the only car of its kind. It is a jewel. A rally car for the street. We were already in love with the outgoing model, but this new GR Yaris has added extra butterflies to our feelings of infatuation. Toyota has nailed it! Just balking at that price.

Toyota GR Yaris 2024

Toyota GR Yaris 2024 – Technical specifications

Length (mm) 3.995
Width (mm) 1.805
Height (mm) 1.455
Wheelbase (mm) 2.560
Track width – front (mm) 1.535
Track width – rear (mm) 1.565
Number of chairs 4
Empty weight (kg) 1,280 (1,300 – GR Direct Automatic)
Engine Three-in-line with turbocharger and intercooler
Type G16E-GTS
Bore x stroke (mm) 87,5 x 89,7
Engine capacity (cc) 1,618
Maximum power (DIN hp/kW @ rpm)) 280/206 @ 6.500
Maximum torque (Nm @ rpm). 390 @ 3.250 – 4.600
Transmission Six-speed iMT or eight-speed GAZOO Racing Direct automatic transmission
Drive GR-FOUR AWD system, electrically controlled multi-plate clutch with three selectable modes
Differentials – front and rear Torsen LSD©
Suspension – front MacPherson struts
Suspension – rear Double wishbone wishbones
Brakes – front 18-inch ventilated brake discs with opposed 4-piston calipers
Brakes – rear 16-inch ventilated brake discs with opposed 2-piston calipers
Wheels BBS 8.5J forged aluminum
Tires 225/40ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport S
Fuel tank (l) 50

Toyota GR Yaris 2024: interior

Toyota GR Yaris 2024 review