Unlike most hot hatches, the Toyota GR Yaris hasn’t been designed to be a ground-hugging track-day monster – its rally-inspired setup is more at home on loose gravel and potholed backroads. So how will it fare in a drag race on an ultra-smooth runway against a MINI GP – one of the most hard-core hot hatches around?
Watch the video to find out…
The Toyota GR Yaris is a fabulous car. It’s so good, in fact, that carwow’s video viewers voted it their 2021 carwow car of the year.
One obvious reason could be that it puts a much bigger grin on your face than any three-cylinder hatchback has any right to. That said, this frenetic 1.6-litre turbocharged unit produces a wholly respectable 261hp and 360Nm of torque. This power is fed through a six-speed manual gearbox to a clever all-wheel-drive system with three differentials – each there to make sure power is metered out to whichever wheels have the most grip.
This sort of tech invariably adds weight, but Toyota’s engineers have massaged the standard Yaris’s five-door body into a lighter, stiffer, more aerodynamic three-door shape and, with the help of a carbon-fibre roof, kept the weight down to just 1,280kg.
The car we have here has the additional track pack, which adds a pair of limited-slip differentials – an optional, but essential, extra if you plan on doing any drag racing. All in, this GR Yaris will set you back £33,495.
The MINI GP is more expensive – it’ll set you back £35,500 – but it does have a bigger engine. Under that grey and red bonnet is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit with 306hp and 450Nm.
Unlike the manual GR Yaris, the MINI has a quick-shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox with launch control, so it should have the edge off the line. And, at 1,255kg, it’s a bit lighter than the Toyota, too.
However, don’t write-off the plucky Yaris just yet. Unlike MINI’s JCW performance models, the MINI GP is front- rather than four-wheel drive so it might struggle for grip on a greasy runway.
Think you know which car will have the edge? Well, you’d better watch the video to find out…
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