The GR Yaris has, thanks to its AWD system and its ability to take on bigger cars, been likened to a mini GT-R – which is very high praise indeed for Toyota’s hot hatch. But Autocar wanted to find out what happens when the two get on the same track.
The weather was cold and the track was wet, meaning that the stiffly sprung GT-R, which also rode on summer tires, probably wouldn’t be able to put all of its power to the ground easily despite its all-wheel drive.
Of course, even on this short track, if the weather had been better or the tires different, the 600 hp GT-R Nismo should have been able to beat the GR Yaris easily. But champs take their opportunities when they come and the featherweight Toyota swung its hardest.
Making less than half of what the Nissan does, with 257 hp (or a bit more if you believe the stories from the dyno), the GR Yaris lived up to its rallying roots. Thanks to its short wheelbase and lighter weight (at 2,900 lbs it weighs nearly 1,000 lbs less than the GT-R even despite the Nismo’s carbon-fiber) it managed to eke out a win by 0.4 seconds.
Mind you, that’s not to say the GR Yaris was perfect. The extra power of the GT-R Nismo meant it was a bit of a giggle in the rain, whereas the Yaris, for all its performance, was a bit less playful. No matter which way you cut it, though, it’s an impressive result.