Compact hatches are dying out, but throwing down S$200k on this homologation special- the Toyota GR Yaris – makes sense even in Singapore
Words and Photos: Derryn Wong
SINGAPORE – The Toyota GR Yaris is what the Japanese brand can make when it really puts its nose to the grindstone and goes all in. The result is a World Rally Championship (WRC) homologation special that truly is special, and is the best-driving Toyota of the past two decades.
All of that explains why this S$200k compact hatch is already sold out , as reported in our news story.
If you want driving thrills, uniqueness, and even collectability, we say look no further, but getting your hands on a GR Yaris could be tricky, as all 22 cars allotted to Singapore are sold out. The official word from Toyota is that 25,000 will be made, in accordance with WRC homologation rules, but it could make more if there’s demand. Local distro Borneo Motors says “If there is continued, strong demand for GR Yaris, we will give feedback to Japan.”
It’s likely that the GR Yaris, as with the Lexus LFA, may not actually make money for the company. It’s a custom job from head to toe, so it’s gotta claw that development budget back somehow.
Because of Singapore’s perverted car market, compact hatches and inexpensive cars don’t make sense here – with a COE they cost almost as much as a car one size up – and for the same reason BMW and Mercedes come out tops when COEs go SpaceX.
The weird result is that the GR Yaris is the only Yaris hatchback here, since the new-gen five-door hatch is not available, and the only other member of the family is the small SUV, the Yaris Cross. As it turns out, that car is sensible, practical, and a great bargain, so it is the polar opposite of the GR Yaris.