Here's Your Hot Toyota Yaris Hatch; Does the U.S. Want It?
Toyota promised the world a Yaris hatchback that would valiantly rise above the role of a plain-Jane commuter car, and here it is.
Expected to premiere at the Geneva Motor Show this March, the high performance three-door subcompact borrows inspiration, parts, and probably a name from Toyota’s Gazoo racing division.
The automaker claims the hot Yaris makes more than 210 horsepower, likely from a tamed-down version of the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine found in its recently released WRC rally car. It also previews design changes coming to the entire Yaris lineup.
Gazoo is to Yaris as TRD is to Tacoma, so buyers should expect a vastly improved suspension setup, as well as other upgraded components. Because the Yaris has so far avoided being associated with either performance or handling, the new variant might come as a bit of a shock. Still, Toyota is determined to shake up its staid and sensible image.
Many details of the muscular hatch remain a mystery, but the biggest question is: will Toyota bring it to North America? So far, the automaker won’t say.
With 210-plus horsepower on tap, the model surpasses the output of the popular Ford Fiesta ST, and would send ripples through the hot hatch segment. It makes sense from a PR perspective, too. Fielding something youthful and fun, especially in a low-priced segment, would give Toyota an opportunity to be noticed for something other than long-term reliability.
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- MaintenanceCosts Despite my hostile comments above I really can't wait to see a video of one of these at the strip. A production car running mid-eights is just bats. I just hope that at least one owner lets it happen, rather than offloading the car from the trailer straight into a helium-filled bag that goes into a dark secured warehouse until Barrett-Jackson 2056.
- Schurkey Decades later, I'm still peeved that Honda failed to recall and repair the seat belts in my '80 Civic. Well-known issue with the retractors failing to retract.Honda cut a deal with the NHTSA at that time, to put a "lifetime warranty" on FUTURE seat belts, in return for not having to deal with the existing problems.Dirtbags all around. Customers screwed, corporation and Government moves on.
- Bullnuke An acquaintance of mine 50+ years ago who was attending MIT (until General Hershey's folks sent him his "Greetings" letter) converted an Austin Mini from its staid 4 cylinder to an electric motored fuel cell vehicle. It was done as a project during his progression toward a Master Degree in Electrical Engineering. He told me it worked pretty well but wasn't something to use as a daily driver given the technology and availability of suitable components of the time. Fueling LH2 and LOX was somewhat problematic. Upon completion he removed his fuel cell and equipment and, for another project, reinstalled the 4 banger but reassembled it without mechanical fasteners using an experimental epoxy adhesive instead which, he said, worked much better and was a daily driver...for awhile. He went on to be an enlisted Reactor Operator on a submarine for a few years.
- Ajla $100k is walking around money but this is almost certainly the last Dodge V8 vehicle and it's likely to be the most powerful factory-installed and warrantied pushrod engine ever. So there is some historical applicability to things even if you have an otherwise low opinion of the Challenger.And, like I said up thread, if you still hate it will be gone soon anyway.
- Carlson Fan GM completely blew the marketing of the Volt. The commercials were terrible. You'd swear they told the advertising company to come up with an ad that would make sure no one went out and shopped a Volt after seeing it!...........LOL My buddy asked why I bought a car that only goes 40 miles on a charge? That pretty much sums up how confusing and uninformative the advertising was.
I'd take a good look at this if I haven't switched to SUVs.
I'm not sure there's been a hot hatch that's had a great reliability rep since Honda dropped the RSX and 3-door Civic Si, so I'm glad Toyota's trying something. I will echo the comments though, that a hopped up Corolla iM would be a nice addition.