Japanese Market: GR Yaris Replica with 118 HP and CVT Available from Toyota

AWD System Absent: A Disappointing Discovery

Amidst the fervor surrounding the highly anticipated 2024 GR Yaris, it is often overlooked that there is also a rather lackluster base version. Despite being labeled with the “RS” suffix, which typically implies something thrilling, the entry-level model falls short of being a true hot hatch. While Toyota has not yet given the cheaper RS the unique dashboard found in the “real” GR Yaris, the car is still available for purchase in Japan.

Despite its striking resemblance to the high-performance GR Yaris, the RS version is only available with front-wheel drive. On top of that, Toyota has restricted this option to a continuous variable transmission (CVT). This is a disappointment, considering that the original hot hatch comes in all-wheel drive with the choice of a six-speed manual or recently acquired eight-speed automatic.

The engine is also a key aspect of the GR Yaris RS. In contrast to the widely recognized “G16E-GTS” found in the GR Corolla and the unique Lexus LBX Morizo RR, the GR Yaris RS utilizes the “M15A-FKS”. This engine is a naturally aspirated 1.5-liter unit, as opposed to the turbocharged 1.6-liter version. Like the latter, it is a three-cylinder engine but with a lower output of 118 hp and 107 lb-ft (145 Nm). However, the updated GR Yaris now boasts a more powerful performance, matching the GR Corolla Morizo with 300 hp and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm).

Although it may have a flashy appearance, the GR Yaris RS lacks the same level of power as its significantly stronger counterpart. However, it comes at a significantly lower cost. Toyota sets the price at 2,650,000 yen or about $18,000 in today’s exchange rates. Alternatively, the more powerful GR Yaris RZ, featuring all-wheel drive and a manual transmission, originally started at a higher price of 4,560,000 yen (approximately $31,000). The price for the upcoming 2024 model will be disclosed closer to its release this spring.

The GR Yaris RS is a unique illustration of in-house upgrading. At first glance, it may seem identical to its high-performance counterpart, but there are subtle clues that reveal its true self. One notable difference is the speedometer limit, which tops out at 180 km/h (112 mph) compared to the performance hatch’s 280 km/h (174 mph).

Source: Toyota

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