If you recall, just a couple weeks ago Toyota slapped the world in the face with a 257-horsepower (192-kilowatt) hot hatchback. That doesn’t sound terribly impressive, but it was a GR Yaris with all-wheel drive and a weight of just 2,822 pounds (1.280 kilograms). In an age where performance cars are increasingly bloated, this little Yaris could well be a proper hot hatchback with a nimble touch and enough power to be hilarious fun. Europe will enjoy it, and it’s even better in Japan where it gets 268 hp. (200 kW) There’s just one major problem for enthusiasts in North America – Toyota isn’t sending it here.
Or is it?
This tweet from Toyota’s official USA Twitter account just dropped today, and to say it caught our attention is a tremendous understatement. Of course, we had to contact Toyota to see if this is just a cruel joke, a toe in the water, or if there’s serious consideration for bring the GR Yaris stateside. Sadly, the news seems to fall on the side of cruel joke, as a Toyota spokesperson told Motor1.com flat-out that “there are no plans to bring the GR Yaris to the U.S.”
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We certainly aren’t the only ones interested in seeing it here. A Change.org petition to bring the AWD hatchback across the pond was started not long after the car was revealed. When we wrote about it on January 13 there were 470 signatures. As of this article going live, that total is at 15,700 and climbing. So yeah, there’s definitely interest in a North American release for the GR Yaris.
Interest, however, doesn’t automatically translate to sales and we suspect Toyota knows this. There’s also the fact that the Yaris currently in U.S. dealerships isn’t remotely like this one. Ours is based on the Mazda 2, whereas the Euro-spec model is an all-new platform. As such, bringing this car over would likely involve all kinds of tests and certifications for the U.S. market, adding further expense to car that would need a fairly low sticker price to win buyers' hearts.
Gallery: 2020 Toyota GR Yaris
Still, this teaser tweet suggests Toyota, at some level, is at least thinking about it. From there, we can only hope.