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Toyota GR Yaris Now Gets Automatic Transmission!

In an exciting turn of events at the Tokyo Auto Salon 2024, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (TGR) unveiled the evolution of its beloved GR Yaris, introducing a game-changing element to its lineup—an 8-speed GAZOO Racing Direct Automatic Transmission. This latest development promises to widen the appeal of the GR Yaris, making the thrill of motorsport more accessible to a broader range of driving enthusiasts. Scheduled for release in Japan this spring, this iteration of the GR Yaris is poised to redefine expectations and expand the motorsports base further.

Ever-Better Motorsports-Bred Cars

TGR’s philosophy of relentless improvement through rigorous motorsport competition has birthed an even more exhilarating GR Yaris. Drawing on feedback from the racetrack, including insights from Toyota Motor Corporation Chairman and Master Driver Akio Toyoda, affectionately known as Morizo, the GR Yaris has been fine-tuned to perfection. The slogan “Thanks for breaking it,” directed at the drivers who tested the car to its limits, underscores TGR’s commitment to continuous enhancement based on real-world racing experiences.

The 8-Speed Revolution

The introduction of the 8-speed GAZOO Racing Direct Automatic Transmission is a direct response to Morizo’s vision of making the joy of sporty driving accessible to all. This newly developed transmission aims to offer the excitement of racing to those who prefer or require an automatic, without compromising on the performance delivered by manual transmissions. Developed and tested under the most demanding conditions, from snow-covered roads in Finland to the heat of the Japanese Rally Championship, this transmission sets a new standard for speed and reliability in automatic sport driving.

GAZOO Racing Direct Automatic Transmission. Credit: Toyota Gazoo Racing

A Cockpit Crafted for Champions

Understanding that the cockpit is the heart of the driving experience, TGR has meticulously designed the GR Yaris’ interior in collaboration with professional race drivers. The result is a cockpit that not only excels in visibility and operability but also embodies the essence of a sports car. Adjustments to the driving position, control panel, and display ensure that every element is optimized for both intense racing and everyday driving.

The evolved GR Yaris (Japanese market specifications, prototype) / Cockpit. Credit: Toyota Gazoo Racing

Engineered for Excellence

The evolved GR Yaris benefits from an enhanced 1.6-liter turbo engine, now boasting 224 kW (304 PS) of power and 400 N-m (40.8 kgf/m) of torque. Exterior modifications, driven by motorsport insights, focus on durability, cooling, and aerodynamic efficiency, ensuring that the GR Yaris is both competitive on the track and captivating on the road.

Engine Torque Chart. Credit: Toyota Gazoo Racing

Chassis and Body Reinforcements

To withstand the rigors of more aggressive driving, the GR Yaris features a reinforced chassis and body. Increased spot welding and expanded use of structural adhesive contribute to improved handling stability and ride comfort, making every drive an exhilarating experience.

The evolved GR Yaris (Japanese market specifications, prototype) Credit: Toyota Gazoo Racing

Cooling and Driving Mode Innovations

The new “Cooling Package” and standard “Drive Mode Select” function cater to the heightened performance of the GR Yaris, offering customization for both spirited and efficient driving. The introduction of “Circuit Mode” allows drivers to unlock the car’s full potential on the track, further enhancing the GR Yaris’ dynamism and appeal to motorsport enthusiasts.

Looking Ahead

As TGR continues its journey of creating ever-better motorsports-bred cars, the evolved GR Yaris stands as a testament to its unwavering commitment to innovation, performance, and accessibility. The inclusion of the 8-speed GAZOO Racing Direct Automatic Transmission not only broadens the car’s appeal but also reinforces TGR’s dedication to bringing the exhilaration of racing to a wider audience.

The evolved GR Yaris, with its groundbreaking automatic transmission and race-inspired enhancements, is set to captivate the hearts of motorsport fans and driving purists alike. As TGR forges ahead, the GR Yaris remains a symbol of the thrilling potential that lies at the intersection of racing excellence and automotive innovation.


When will the new GR Yaris be available for sale?

Sales in Japan are scheduled to start in spring 2024.

What sets the evolved GR Yaris apart from its predecessor?

It features a newly developed 8-speed automatic transmission, enhanced engine output, and a cockpit optimized with professional drivers.

What inspired the development of the 8-speed GAZOO Racing Direct Automatic Transmission?

The desire to make sporty driving accessible to more people and to expand the motorsports base.

How does the new transmission enhance the driving experience?

It offers sporty driving and competitive racing capabilities, with speed and reliability that appeal to a wide range of drivers.

What improvements have been made to the engine?

Engine output has increased to 224 kW (304 PS), with torque boosted to 400 N-m (40.8 kgf/m).

How has the cockpit been optimized for racing?

Adjustments to visibility, operability, and driving position were made based on feedback from professional race drivers.

What are the key exterior features designed for motorsports?

Modifications include a steel mesh grille, larger side lower grilles, and a new structure for easier restoration and reduced repair costs.

What chassis and body reinforcements have been introduced?

The car features increased spot welding and expanded use of structural adhesive for improved rigidity and handling.

What is the “Cooling Package”?

A factory-installed option designed to enhance cooling performance, crucial for the higher engine output and automatic transmission.

What is “Circuit Mode,” and how does it work?

A feature that enhances the GR Yaris’ performance for circuit driving, including customizable settings via a smartphone app for an extraordinary dynamism on the track.

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