Welcome to Scotland; the home of some of the greatest driving roads in the UK. We’ve brought the modified GR Yaris up to the edge of the Highlands to put it through its paces.
When’s the last time you thought to yourself: ‘I can’t wait to drive a car in the wet?’. That’s how I feel about taking the Yaris out in the rain today; the way this thing hustles a greasy, wet B-road is beyond belief.
The brand-term ‘Yaris’ is quite deceptive; from an exterior perspective, this car literally only shares the headlights, taillights and the arial with an actual Toyota Yaris. But the performance that Toyota have managed to get out of this turbo-charged, 3-cylinder engine is remarkable.
Costing £30k it's a lot for a hot hatch, but an incredible drive that punches way above its weight! At 260hp, which doesn’t sound like much these days, the car only weighs in at around 1300kg. With its all-wheel drive traction, it truly comes into its own in adverse weather conditions. The car was launched in four colours, and we had this one fully wrapped in yellow, so that now it looks like the angry wasp that it is.
The strange thing with the GR Yaris is that in the dry it’s almost too good, and the speeds that it can do are ridiculous. In the wet, it becomes playful, and it’s like the rally-DNA becomes accessible. On top of all of that, this car is fairly practical, with four seats and a useable sized boot if you’re looking for a day out.
Looking at the features that we’ve already changed on this car; it’s been given a new exhaust and obviously altered the colour. The next thing I’d like to play around with is the seats as the comfort level is not there for me right now, however I think if they could be dropped between half an inch and an inch, it would let you settle into the experience a little more.
Although we’ve had this car on the channel for around seven months now, for me this really does feel like the first drive. I feel like I’ve finally got it into Yaris-mode, and I’m using it for what it’s been bred for.