Jari-Matti Latvala shows off what he can do in the rally-inspired hot hatch.
Jari-Matti Latvala is a veteran rally driver, including being with Toyota's squad since its return to the WRC in 2017 and recently taking a role as the team principal there. Now, he's using those skills to advertise the company's vehicles by starring in an ad for the GR Yaris hot hatch.
In the commercial, a girl gets into the passenger seat of the GR Yaris and receives a text from her mom to have fun with her uncle Jari-Matti. The young woman then starts a timer on her smartwatch, and Latvala speeds away.
Gallery: 2020 Toyota GR Yaris
Latvala's niece then takes on the role of rally co-driver and starts calling out the pace notes. They quickly abandon the paved road for a gravel path and eventually to a prairie field. The lady hanging clothes out to dry there isn't very impressed with the automotive antics, though.
After getting the Yaris suitably dirty from sliding it around, Latvala pilots the GR Yaris to a car wash to clean it off. He and his niece then have one last laugh by spraying each other with water while getting the mud off of the body.
The GR Yaris has the most powerful three-cylinder engine ever in a road car. The 1.6-liter turbocharged powerplant makes 257 horsepower (192 kilowatts) and 266 pound-feet (360 Newton-meters) of torque. There's a six-speed manual with all-wheel drive. The optional Circuit Pack adds Torsen limited-slip differentials to the front and rear, revises the suspension tuning, and forged 18-inch BBS wheels.
In addition to the impressive powertrain, Toyota does a lot to make the GR Yaris more rigid and have a lighter weight. For example, there are 259 more weld points and more than twice the amount of structural adhesive in comparison to the standard Yaris. The carbon composite roof saves 7.7 pounds (3.5 kilograms) over a steel piece and the greater use of aluminum cuts 53 pounds (24 kilograms).
Tuners are already getting ahold of the GR Yaris and extracting even more power from the three-pot mill. For example, Litchfield has a kit that boosts the output to 305 hp (227 kW) and 288 lb-ft (390 Nm). While this isn't a massive increase, there's still something very impressive about an engine making over 100 horsepower per cylinder.