Toyota Planning Something Like GR Yaris for North America

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.

  • Chris P Bacon I have driven a few Alfa Stelvios, and they are fun on twisty roads. I love the looks, and that there just aren't a lot of them on the road. There was a time where they were leasing very very well, and I considered pulling the trigger on one. But then my local dealer closed, and is turning the building into a Mazda showroom. So my closest dealers are between 85-100 miles away. I've heard Alfa got their quality act together after 2019, and it's mostly common Stellantis parts these days. But since I don't have a local Alfa store to do the repairs, it's been a no go. I like the tonale, and since the Dodge is mostly Tonale, with access to a Dodge dealer for warranty work, I thought I might be interested. Sizewize, this thing falls right between the Compass and Cherokee, so it's not a penalty box. But I think at $30k, Dodge really stole Alfa's price point. It's literally the same car, Alfa could make money at $30k if Dodge can. Alfa might actually be able to attract some new customers if the Tonale was priced here. but at $37k to start for the Tonale, it's gonna sit on Alfa lots looking for a home. The Dodge really should be called the Fugazzi, not the Hornet.
  • Chris Tonn @maintenancecosts stay tuned. An XC90 Recharge arrived this week.
  • ToolGuy Jump ahead to the table labeled "The 20 U.S. newspapers with the highest circulation in 2000, with 2022 print circulation":
  • SCE to AUX Of course it's dead, as are most live meetings any more.Covid was the catalyst that killed off the live meeting paradigm forever. In my office, we now have Teams meetings amongst participants who are all in the building. It's just not worth the trouble to schedule a conference room and hunt people down to see if they can be present.To paraphrase Madonna (with an update), we're living in a virtual world.
  • FreedMike Kudos to Chris for making an uninteresting car interesting to read about.