We say low because our local specifications GR Yaris comes equipped with Torsen Limited Slip Differential, BBS alloy wheels, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres, thicker anti-roll bars, and beefier front suspension – all optional extras elsewhere, equal to the UK market’s Circuit Package.
Like for like, a GR Yaris with this specification is supposed to be priced higher than the Civic Type R, which our local market ones were closer to the UK’s entry variant. The FK8 Civic Type R was last sold in Malaysia at RM 330,000, with SST.
As a World Rally Championship (WRC) homologation car developed by Tommi Makinen - who by the way, has since swapped a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution for a Toyota GR Yaris - the GR Yaris has no real rival.
Some may compare it to a Volkswagen Golf R or a Mercedes-AMG A45 but these are very different (some say lower tier) cars, targeting a very different crowd. Also, only those who can (still) drive a manual transmission will look to the GR Yaris, so its appeal is rather narrow.
Remember that Volkswagen has pulled out from all motor racing activities, while AMG is no longer directly involved in any racing apart from F1. The AMG GT3 and GT4 cars are sold to privateer teams and are not raced by AMG themselves. It’s a similar story with BMW M.
Ironically, Toyota, the brand that popularized hybrids and maker of regular cars, is the one that’s keeping the spirit of motor racing alive with its Gazoo Racing banner. So thank you President Akio Toyoda.
If you are keen to check out the GR Yaris at a local Toyota dealer, hold that thought first. While Malaysia is given an allocation of slightly less than 200 cars, all our cars are from 2021 manufacturing year onwards, so production will only begin in January 2021, and the cars will only arrive here in February.
So don’t head out to your local Toyota dealer yet, unless of course you want to place a booking without seeing the car, which no doubt some would, considering that there are only less than 200 cars.
Globally, production of the GR Yaris will be capped at 25,000 units. The GR Yaris will be produced at the Motomachi plant, the same plant that built the legendary Lexus LF-A.
Do note that like the GR Supra, not all Toyota dealers will carry the model. Only dealers who have invested in creating a GR Garage section within their dealership are allowed to sell the GR Yaris. Malaysia is the first country outside of Japan to implement the GR Garage concept.
To date, there are only 5 Toyota GR Garage dealers in Malaysia. They are:
Fokus Tetap (Seksyen U13, Shah Alam, Selangor)
PCM Klang Motor (Jalan Kepayang, Klang, Selangor)
Wing Hin Automobile (Balakong, Selangor)
Telagamas Motor (Kulim, Kedah)
Mutiara Motorsports (Plentong, Johor)
Lastly, if you need any other reason to pay RM 300k for a Toyota, well this car is President Akio Toyoda's pet project. It's hard to think of any other car on sale right now that receives so much personal attention from the company president. Not just any president, but the only car company boss that who races the cars his company sells, and personally participates in the vehicles' development.