It is no secret I love my Subarus and a big part of that was the magic of the turbocharged, all-wheel-drive rallying legend that is the WRX. These small, light and endlessly fun-to-throw-around boxers put the wind up all the big, heavy V8 and six-cylinder performance cars, and the sight of the Subies flying through the air in the WRC absolutely hooked into my brain.
Today, the WRX and STi models are more street-oriented and I’d argue they miss a lot of the rawness and angry motorsport appeal of the original GC8-generation. And this is why I was so interested in Toyota’s GR Yaris.
Normally a Yaris isn’t anything I’d be giving a second-thought. But when they’re all-wheel-drive, using a conventional manual transmission, and packing a 200kW turbo three-cylinder engine in a fat little rally-inspired body, then I am most definitely subscribing to that newsletter.
As it so happens, I’m not on my own in this regard and the go-fast Yaris has quickly built a cult following, to the point I’m already picking this as a future classic. We don’t see stripped-back, raw performance cars like this much anymore, and certainly not in a practical hatchback shell. Sure, there are fast all-paw Golfs but they just don’t connect the driver to the experience in the same way.
Is it worth buying a top-spec GR Yaris now and put it away in case it one day is worth squillions? I’d say no, but that is more to do with how fun these cars are to drive rather than some academic argument around future values. If you get the chance to take one for a squirt, do it!
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