Toyota Planning Something Like GR Yaris for North America
Drivers in North America have urged Toyota to export the 268-horsepower GR Yaris pretty much since the day it was announced. There’s even a Change.org petition to get the European variant shipped to Canada. Still, it always seemed like an impossible dream. An ultra-powerful subcompact doesn’t have mass appeal here and the model isn’t actually the same car as the one sold in Japan.
However, Toyota may not leave North American consumers empty handed. The automaker has heard the Western wailing and is working on a plan to appease the market. While the GR Yaris may be a bridge too far, something akin to the hot hatch is reportedly in development to cover for its absence.
According to Car and Driver, Toyota’s executive vice president of sales, Bob Carter, told reporters the automaker had “an answer” for the GR Yaris on Thursday — one that would make it North America.
Carter didn’t say what that answer would be, but the logical choice has to ride on the TNGA platform and be roughly the same size as the Yaris. That really only leaves the Corolla hatchback and C-HR as potential candidates, with the former being the preferred choice by any sensible enthusiast. Both should be able to accept the GR Yaris’ 1.6-liter inline three-cylinder and six-speed manual.
Assuming the planned vehicle also adopts the Yaris’ all-wheel drive and limited-slip differentials, and you’ve got something that might even make WRX faithful look twice. Like us, Car and Driver is banking on the Corolla being the better option. It’s easier on the eyes, more refined than the C-HR, and putting in an exciting powertrain solves its biggest problem — that it’s not terribly fun to drive, despite looking like it would be.
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