UPDATE, September 29: Toyota dealers claim the first 1000 examples of the 2021 Toyota GR Yaris are all gone, the company says there may be a handful left but have declined to say exactly how many. Full story here.
UPDATE, September 24: Toyota has confirmed today that of the first 1000 Toyota GR Yaris cars that will be priced from $39,950 drive-away, 560 have been allocated to buyers already – on the first day.
How many of those were private buyers and how many were Toyota dealers is, of course, unknown. Either way, this means potential buyers currently sitting on the fence had best decide which side they'll hop down to.
Toyota says that of the colours available, around two-thirds of customers chose white (including our own Justin Narayan), with the remainder "split almost evenly" between black and red.
First-day orders: NSW 226, QLD 124, VIC 90, WA 53, SA 39, ACT 14, NT 9, TAS 5.
– Mike Stevens
September 16, 2020: The 2021 Toyota GR Yaris will have a sky-high recommended retail price of $49,500 plus on-road costs, but the first 1000 buyers will be able to secure one from $39,950 drive-away when order books open from midday next Wednesday.
Toyota has also confirmed it will bring in 250 examples of a high-performance variant in the first half of 2021, which gains limited-slip differentials, stickier Michelin tyres, and lightweight BBS alloy wheels – and will be named the GR Yaris Rallye.
While the price for the high-performance GR Yaris Rallye edition will be announced at a later date, the company said the initial launch offer – which amounts to a discount of close to $14,000 – is intended to help make the GR Yaris affordable to a broader range of buyers.
While Toyota says the launch price of $39,950 drive-away is limited to the first 1000 vehicles sold, it concedes it could be 12-to-18 months before that number is reached, at which point the car's pricing will be reviewed.
DRIVEN: Toyota GR Yaris prototype review
The launch offer represents a total discount of approximately $10 million, which the company says is an investment in its customers and the Gazoo Racing performance brand.
An additional special offer will give the first 50 buyers of the GR Yaris a fuel discount of 20c per litre for the first 12 months, when purchased via the company's myToyota portal.
Although the price aligns with the Subaru WRX, the Toyota hot hatch is a class size smaller. The ageing WRX offers less power, however, and weighs nearly 170kg more than the 1280kg GR Yaris.
The engine in the Toyota GR Yaris is a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol three-cylinder putting out 200kW of power and 370Nm of torque, making it the most powerful three-cylinder engine ever offered in a production car.
Power is distributed via a six-speed manual transmission to all four wheels, and the hatch can reach 100km/h from a standstill in 5.2 seconds.
Toyota says the GR Yaris is a pure performance car, with development occurring even after CarAdvice first drove the model in December 2019.
Despite the significant power and torque figures, Toyota says the GR Yaris will likely get the company's five-year / unlimited-kilometre warranty, similar to that offered on the Toyota Supra.
Production of the 2021 Toyota GR Yaris began three weeks ago, and will initially be available in either black, white, or red.
Local deliveries are to begin in November 2020, with order books opening at midday (AEST) on 23 September 2020. An official launch of the 2021 Toyota GR Yaris is expected in November.