2021 Toyota GR Yaris Review: Special, Kay?

2.Design and appearance
3.Interior and features
4.Driving experience

2. Design and appearance

2021 Toyota GR Yaris Singapore front shot

The GR Yaris platform is a mishmash of existing ones, with the front from the current Yaris on the GA-B platform, the rear from the GA-C platform (Corolla, C-HR). In footprint, at 3,995mm, the car is 55mm longer than the normal Yaris, but considerably shorter (1,455mm, or 45mm less) and a lot wider – 60mm, at 1,805mm.

2021 Toyota GR Yaris Singapore top shot
Carbonfibre roof is a real rarity in the sub-S$200k segment

Liberal use of aluminium for most of the body panels, and a carbonfibre roof, keeps weight at just 1,280kg – outstanding for a car with all the go-faster bits, like two Torsen LSDs, a turbo engine, and all-wheel drive. Carbon roofs are common in S$500k BMW M4 territory too, but not anywhere else.

For the body, Toyota says it added 259 more welds and 14.6-metres of structural adhesive compared to the standard car, while the suspension is bespoke. Gone is the rear torsion beam suspension of the normal hatch – the GR Yaris runs a double-wishbone rear setup. 

2021 Toyota GR Yaris Singapore front lower section
Tiny car with huge grimace – demon chihuahua comes to mind.

If all of that was mere technobabble to you, just ask a car geek to read the three paragraphs above – then watch them struggle not to rush down to the showroom and offer up their childrens’ trust fund for the GR Yaris’s thrust fun.  

In person, the GR Yaris looks ridiculous, as it should. Slap enough decals on it, and it’d look right at home on a special stage. Proportions and elegance are thrown out of the window, which makes the car all the more interesting – see the totally outsized lower front end with a huge area to allow airflow, and two two side ducts for brake cooling. Aero has been kept in mind too, with a front spoiler and rear diffuser/wing, and big, dual exhausts behind. 

2021 Toyota GR Yaris Singapore rear

Another unseen detail: The rear bumper is made of special plastic, TSOP (Toyota Super Olefin Polymer), which the company says makes it 38 percent lighter. It feels more flexible than a regular bumper – lean on it and it’ll flex inward – which should make it less prone to cracks. But it’s just another clue that this car is made for cracking on.

Continue to Page 3: One surprising addition to the GR Yaris’ feature set

about the author

Derryn Wong
CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong