David versus Goliath. You know the story, or if you don't know the original story, you at least know it's a battle in which the underdog somehow defeats a seemingly insurmountable opponent. We aren't sure there's a better automotive equivalent than a Toyota GR Yaris facing down a BMW M4, and we aren't just talking about the fear factor associated with that Big BMW nose.
You might say the GR Yaris is half the car compared to the M4. It literally has half as many cylinders, half the turbochargers, nearly half the engine displacement, and as such, approximately half the power. By the numbers, that's 257 horsepower (135 kilowatts) for the 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder in the Toyota. Meanwhile, the BMW churns out 503 hp (375 kW) from a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine with two turbochargers. How could the GR Yaris possibly stand a chance in a race?
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If we stick to the stats, it doesn't. The BMW is far quicker to 60 mph, and that gap extends to a veritable solar system through the quarter-mile. However, the GR Yaris has two advantages in its corner: weight and grip. It's nearly 900 pounds (408 kilograms) lighter than the BMW, and it claws at the track with all-wheel drive. So while the M4 is faster on paper, the GR Yaris has a more reliable formula for real-world situations. And let's be honest – that boosted three-pot has heart.
That's evident as soon as the race starts, because the plucky hot hatch leaps to an immediate lead. A high-rpm launch without wheelspin sees it squirt away from the starting line in glorious haste, though admittedly the driver did get a slight jump over the sleepy M4. In a blink, the Yaris is well over a car length in front but there's no stopping the wave of power under the M4's hood. Goliath doesn't just pass David, it blows past en route to a victory.
But not by as much as you'd expect. Yes, it's a loss. But David sure put up one helluva good fight.