The facelifted Toyota Yaris has been revealed this week, along with the first images of the much-anticipated hot hatch variant ahead of its debut at the Geneva motor show in March.
Known as the Vitz in its home market of Japan, the new Yaris sports revised front and rear treatments, including a nose with less chrome, new LED daytime-running lights and tail-lights, along with new bumpers at both ends that help to give the light hatch a lower and wider stance.
All Yaris variants in Japan come standard with Toyota Safety Sense which includes a collision avoidance system with autonomous emergency braking along with hill-start assist.
Seventeen exterior colour options are available in Japan, along with a new ‘Sporty Package’ option which includes 16-inch alloy wheels, and a subtle body kit.
Other changes include interior revisions like trim upgrades and new colour schemes across the range.
However, the big news is the reveal of the new ‘high-performance’ Yaris (above), which will debut at the Geneva motor show in March.
Official images released by the company’s European arm depict an aggressive-looking three-door hot hatch with black alloy wheels, a bodykit, large rear wing and a black/red/white livery similar to that of the 2017 Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC Yaris that will make its world rally debut at the Monte Carlo Rally on January 19.
Details of what lies under the bonnet are few and far between, but it’s confirmed the Yaris hot-hatch will develop more than 210bhp (157kW+) when it goes on sale – making it more powerful than the Volkswagen Polo GTI (141kW), Ford Fiesta ST (134kW) and Toyota 86 (147kW), while just shy of the Renault Clio RS220 (164kW).
Toyota says the new performance model will “forge the link between the Yaris WRC and the standard road-going model range”.
The regular Yaris range will land in late March, with the same powertrain options as the current car – entry-level models get a 63kW/121Nm 1.3-litre petrol while high-spec variants get an 80kW/141Nm 1.5-litre unit. ZR variants will have autonomous emergency braking fitted as standard while it will remain an option on lower variants.
As before, buyers are offered the choice of a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic.
We will continue to miss out on the hybrid version that is on sale in Europe and newly launches in Japan with this facelifted model.
However, Toyota Australia unfortunately has no plans to bring the hot hatch derivative Down Under.
Speaking with CarAdvice last month, Stephen Coughlan, public relations manager for the company’s local arm, said: “Whilst we would love to have a hot hatch in our local line-up at some future point, we have no plans to introduce this product to the Australian range”.
Expect final pricing and specifications to be confirmed closer to launch.
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