Toyota originally introduced the GR Yaris back in September 2017, but only in Japan where the supermini carried the “Vitz” moniker before switching to the fourth generation a couple of months ago. The company is not wasting any time coming out with a new GR-spec Yaris as the official reveal has been programmed for next month at the Tokyo Auto Salon. We won’t have to wait until January to see the car in full since our friends at Wheels have just spotted the hot hatch with no camouflage whatsoever in the Australian outback while shooting a promotional video.
Unlike the regular Yaris shown so far with five doors, the spicy GR derivative will adopt a sportier three-door layout with a gently sloped roofline lending it a more exciting side profile. Beefy brakes hiding behind large wheels are also visible, as is the wider grille at the front to let the uprated engine breathe better. At the back, the dual exhaust tips and chunky roof-mounted spoiler denote the subcompact hatchback has been tweaked by Gazoo Racing.
Gallery: Toyota GR Yaris spy photos
Wheels was also able to take a peek inside the cabin where purists will be glad to hear the GR Yaris had not only a manual gearbox, but also an old-school handbrake lever. With this being a pre-production prototype, it’s understandable why the interior might not seem all that exciting, but we do notice the body-hugging front seats and “GR” badging on the steering wheel. Although not immediately visible, the Australian magazine reports the feisty Toyota has a button for an intercooler water spray, located between the steering column and the door.
Technical details are still shrouded in mystery, although it is generally believed the rally-inspired Toyota GR Yaris will be powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine linked to an all-wheel-drive system. Your guess is as good as ours as far how much power the four-pot will deliver, but we’re expecting some healthy numbers once the car will be revealed in full on January 10.