No Toyota GR Yaris for America? Console Yourself With a Performance Crossover, Maybe
It’s sort of what we asked for, but different.
Because Americans simply didn't buy the last-gen Yaris, Toyota dropped the hatch from its United States lineup entirely when the redesigned model broke cover. That also meant that the tantalizing GR Yaris—a 268-horsepower, all-wheel-drive, manual-‘box hatchback—won't be sold here, which is a decision that should disappoint anything with a pulse.
But not all hope is lost because Toyota's Executive Vice President of Sales, Bob Carter, was quoted by Car & Driver as saying Toyota has "an answer" for GR Yaris demand stateside. Said answer won't be to import the GR Yaris as some hope, as Toyota told us in January that it has "no plans to bring the GR Yaris" here.
As it seems, the Yaris' TNGA-B platform won't be home to just one model. Toyota plans to reveal a crossover at this year's Geneva Motor Show, one which Autocar reports will share the architecture and powertrains with the Yaris. Whether or not this includes the GR's potently turbocharged three-cylinder and six-speed manual is unclear.
Now, fair warning: Toyota has not revealed definite plans to sell this car in America, and we haven't heard any rumors regarding a GR variant of it.
There is, however, a report from Auto Express that alleges the GR Yaris' powertrain will resurface in the larger, TNGA-C-based C-HR crossover, a new generation of which is reportedly due by the end of 2021. As this GR C-HR is said to be on track for launch "before 2023," the odds of it being based on the next-gen model are strong. There is also an off chance that the C-HR's platform-mate, the Corolla Hatchback, could get this powertrain, though most rumors surrounding a possible Corolla hot hatch mention electrically driven rear wheels rather than the GR Yaris' mechanically driven rear axle.
While the idea of a hot C-HR may be repulsive to some people, bear in mind that the chassis showed potential in its 600-horsepower "R-Tuned" concept guise, and that modern performance crossovers are starting to feel an awful lot like rally cars. Fingers crossed that's the case here.
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