2024 GR Yaris Receives Enhanced Power and Automatic Transmission

Toyota 2024 GR Yaris Receives Enhanced Power and Automatic Transmission (1)
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The 2024 GR Yaris is set to break new ground with the introduction of an optional automatic transmission, a significant shift for a model previously known as a manual-only vehicle. This change places the GR Yaris alongside other mainstream cars, departing from its position in an exclusive group that includes the likes of the GR Corolla and Honda Civic Type R.

Unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Salon, Toyota has named this new gearbox the Direct Automatic Transmission. It’s a torque-converter automatic, refined for quicker shifting and equipped with track-oriented shift logic. While not a dual-clutch system like some performance cars, it promises high efficiency and effectiveness, drawing parallels with the acclaimed ZF 8HP automatic. This gearbox isn’t entirely new to Toyota’s racing endeavors, having been tested in the Super Taikyu endurance series and the Japan Rally Championship.

In addition to the new transmission, the GR Yaris is receiving a power boost and comprehensive upgrades. The engine’s output is elevated from 268 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque to an impressive 300 hp and 295 lb-ft, aligning it with the 2024 GR Corolla. The “Circuit” variant will offer enhanced cooling, including an additional radiator, intercooler spray, and a redesigned intake system. Models with the automatic transmission will also feature a specialized cooler for the gearbox, visible in the side intakes. Remarkably, the addition of the automatic transmission contributes only about 40 pounds to the vehicle’s weight.

The 2024 GR Yaris is further enhanced with overall improvements in body rigidity and suspension, supporting the increased output from the turbocharged three-cylinder engine. This isn’t merely a new tune; it involves a fortified valvetrain, innovative exhaust valve materials, heightened direct injection pressure, a new intake air pressure sensor, and reengineered lightweight pistons.

Furthermore, the 2024 GR Yaris has undergone a facelift, affecting both its exterior and interior design. The front bumper now features a more aggressive style to house the new coolers, while the interior has been completely redesigned with a driver-centric focus. The dashboard, however, presents a somewhat unconventional and outdated appearance. On the upside, the new 12.3-inch display gauge cluster, shared with the GR Corolla, is a welcome addition.

Although the 2024 GR Yaris won’t be available in the United States, its advancements could influence future models of the GR Corolla, including the potential incorporation of the automatic transmission. With the 2024 GR Corolla already announced and changes underway, there’s anticipation that the 2025 model could represent a major advancement in design and technology.