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Toyota Yaris GR will be an all-paw monster! New hot hatch to get turbocharged three-cylinder engine and AWD: reports

Details of the Yaris GR are beginning to emerge.

Details of Toyota's Yaris GR are beginning to emerge, with fresh reports out of Japan suggesting the all-new hot hatch will arrive with a turbocharged three-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. 

Exactly how that all-wheel drive is delivered, though, remains a mystery, though it would make sense the system would make use of a rear-axle-mounted electric motor that spins the back wheels, which would also help add extra grunt to the outputs.

That would be the the same E-Four system that is used on the regular Yaris -  revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show - as well as the RAV4 SUV, only presumably the GR would see the outputs dialled up to 11.

Alternatively, and like its Ford Fiesta ST rival, it could make use of a conventional turbocharged 1.5-litre engine, only tuned to produce hot hatch outputs without the help of a hybrid drivetrain. 

Exactly what those power outputs are isn't known for now, though the micro hot hatch segment has some standards that will need to be met.

The 2020 VW Polo GTI, for example, is good for 147kW and 320Nm, while the Fiesta ST produces 147kW and 290Nm. It stands to reason, then, that the Yaris GR will produce around 150kW and 300Nm, otherwise it will struggle to keep up with the pack.

The Yaris GR was due to be revealed at a rally event in Coffs Harbour this month, but the unveiling was postponed due to the devastating bushfires still burning in the northern NSW.

Reports out of Japan suggest the production car will now be revealed in January, ahead of an on-sale date later next year. 

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist
Andrew Chesterton should probably hate cars. From his hail-damaged Camira that looked like it had spent a hard life parked at the end of Tiger Woods' personal driving range, to the Nissan Pulsar Reebok that shook like it was possessed by a particularly mean-spirited demon every time he dared push past 40km/h, his personal car history isn't exactly littered with gold. But that seemingly endless procession of rust-savaged hate machines taught him something even more important; that cars are more than a collection of nuts, bolts and petrol. They're your ticket to freedom, a way to unlock incredible experiences, rolling invitations to incredible adventures. They have soul. And so, somehow, the car bug still bit. And it bit hard. When "Chesto" started his journalism career with News Ltd's Sunday and Daily Telegraph newspapers, he covered just about everything, from business to real estate, courts to crime, before settling into state political reporting at NSW Parliament House. But the automotive world's siren song soon sounded again, and he begged anyone who would listen for the opportunity to write about cars. Eventually they listened, and his career since has seen him filing car news, reviews and features for TopGear, Wheels, Motor and, of course, CarsGuide, as well as many, many others. More than a decade later, and the car bug is yet to relinquish its toothy grip. And if you ask Chesto, he thinks it never will.
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