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The Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) team has relentlessly pursued the perfection of motorsports-bred cars since the debut of the GR Yaris. This evolution is marked by a commitment to “driver-first car-making,” incorporating feedback from professional race drivers, evaluation drivers, and Toyota Motor Corporation Chairman Akio Toyoda. The latest enhancements, spanning the power unit, body, interior, and exterior, exemplify a comprehensive approach to boosting vehicle performance.

1. GAZOO Racing Direct Automatic Transmission:

The 8-speed system.

In a stride towards democratizing the joy of driving, TGR has introduced the 8-speed GAZOO Racing Direct Automatic Transmission to the GR Yaris lineup. This transmission aims to enable a broader audience to relish sporty driving and participate in races with an automatic transmission that rivals its manual counterpart.

  • Optimized software for sporty driving, anticipating gear shifts based on driver input.
  • Gear-shifting speeds with heat-resistant friction material in the gear-shift clutch.
  • Close-ratio gears, achieved by transitioning from a 6-speed manual to an 8-speed automatic transmission, optimizing engine power utilization.

2. Evolution of the Cockpit:

Racer inspired cockpit

The design is inspired by race cars from the Super Taikyu Series and Japanese Rally Championship, aimed to ensure better visibility and operability. Adjustments to driving posture, control panel orientation, and display positioning, coupled with improved operability, contribute to an ideal sports car cockpit according to Toyota.

Enhancements in the Cockpit:

  • Lowered the driving position by 25mm and adjusted the steering wheel position for improved driving posture.
  • Expanded forward visibility by relocating the rearview mirror and lowering the upper edge of the centre cluster.
  • Improved operability with a raised shift lever and the adoption of a hand brake for precise control.
  • Reversed direction of shift-lever manual-mode gear shifting for a race car-like experience.
  • Introduction of a 12.3-inch full-colour TFT gauge display inspired by professional race drivers’ preferences.

3. Powertrain Advancements:

TGR has elevated the GR Yaris’s powertrain, focusing on the 1.6-liter inline 3-cylinder turbo engine. To enhance competitiveness in motorsports, the engine output has been increased from 268 Hp to 300 Hp, and torque from 37 kg/m to 40kg/m.

To complement the higher engine output and the introduction of the GAZOO Racing Direct Automatic Transmission, a Cooling Package has been introduced. Standard on vehicles with the new automatic transmission includes an automatic transmission fluid cooler. Additionally, options such as a sub-radiator, cool air intake, and intercooler sprayer enhance cooling performance for motorsports applications.

Cooling Package Components:

  • Standard automatic transmission fluid cooler for improved cooling performance.
  • Optional sub-radiator, cool air intake, and intercooler sprayer for a comprehensive Cooling Package.

4. Exterior Redesign for Motorsports Durability:

Toyota’s Durability at its finest

The exterior of the GR Yaris has undergone a meticulous redesign to address the challenges posed by motorsports environments. Components such as the lower grille, front bumper, side lower grilles, and rear lower garnish have been redesigned to facilitate repair and replacement, reduce repair costs, and enhance cooling performance. The consolidated rear lamps and separated high-mount stop lamps add to the car’s motorsports-oriented design.

Exterior Enhancements:

  • Redesigned lower grille with a lightweight yet robust steel mesh.
  • Improved cooling performance with larger openings in side lower grilles.
  • Consolidation of rear lamps for improved visibility and damage resistance.
  • Enhanced aerodynamics and heat management through the lower edge opening in the rear lower garnish.

TGR has reinforced the chassis and body of the GR Yaris to endure the demands of aggressive driving. Increased bolt connections and additional spot welding points enhance alignment stability, responsiveness to steering input, and overall handling stability. The use of structural adhesive has been expanded, increasing body rigidity for improved handling stability and ride comfort.

Chassis and Body Enhancements:

  • Increased number of bolts connecting the body to shock absorbers for enhanced alignment stability.
  • Expanded spot welding points and structural adhesive areas for increased body rigidity.

7. Drive Mode Select for Personalized Driving Pleasure:

The GR Yaris now features “Drive Mode Select” as a standard offering, providing users the flexibility to tailor electronic power steering, air conditioning, and powertrain settings. This functionality caters to both sporty driving and everyday usability, ensuring an immersive driving experience that aligns with individual preferences and the requirements of different motorsports scenarios.

The evolution of the GR Yaris reflects TGR’s commitment to making ever-better motorsports-bred cars.  TGR’s dedication to motorsports ensures that the journey of improvement remains endless, with the GR Yaris poised to continue its legacy on the racetrack and the road.