Toyota Planning Something Like GR Yaris for North America

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
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 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.

[Images: Toyota]

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10 of 19 comments
  • JimZ JimZ on Feb 14, 2020

    They'll sell dozens. Dozens, I tell you! because the people who are clamoring for a GR Yaris don't/can't buy a new car.

    • See 5 previous
    • Superdessucke Superdessucke on Feb 17, 2020

      Well, after coming around to the sad, difficult but inevitable realization that a Charger Scat Pack Widebody ain't gonna work as a daily for me, I'm looking at replacing my 2015 6-speed Accord with a Veloster N - or a MK8 GTI or new WRX if I want to wait until fall. If Toyota offers a hot version of the Corolla hatch, I'll seriously consider that too. I like the looks, just needs more spice. ** Agree generally that "enthusiasts" talk a big game prior to settling on their Rogues and RAV-4s though. Just saying what my weird a-- is doing. I'm sure the automakers are not tripping all over each other to secure the 6-speed Accord owners' business, LOL! But I am out here.

  • Oberkanone Oberkanone on Feb 14, 2020

    Corolla hatch is 200 plus pounds heavier and oversized. Everyone else gets ribeye and we get hamburger steak. No thanks.

    • See 1 previous
    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Feb 15, 2020

      So if you want a "hot hatch" smaller than the default choices (GTI), then you are limited to the leftover 2019 Fiesta STs still on sale or one of the hot Minis.

  • Tassos Murilee's piece of junk today was a Camaro from 1992. I told him to scrap it ASAP and put it out of its misery before Tim steals it and makes it his so-called 'used car of the day'. I did not count on Tim being much more ambitious than that. He was able to find one that is TWENTY Years older than that.It may make a collectible for a few (sure as hell not for me), but it SURE AS HELL IS NOT A "USED CAR OF THE DAY".
  • Jeff I like these 3rd generation Camaros much better than the 2nd generation. I might be in the minority but I always liked these Camaros. As for the S-10 pickups I had a second generation S-10 for almost 21 years very reliable so I might be in the minority here as well but when something gives me good service and costs not much to keep up then I like that vehicle.
  • Art_Vandelay The 80s ended with this car and Nevermind. Be sure to grab the Motley Crue cassette that is surely stuck in the cassette deck
  • FreedMike As I look at this car I feel my hair longing to become mulleted.
  • Tassos just scrap the hillbilly-redneck-high school junior mobileand put it out of its miseryBefore Tim steals it and pretends it is his 'used car of the day'