As wonderful the previous true-life story is…on the 31st of May I applied online for contract negotiations, roughly about 1 month prior to close of applications; and finally signed a contract on the 3rd of July for a GR Yaris RZ High Performance 1st Edition. Delivery day was estimated to be towards the end of March, 2021. It was going to be a grueling 8.5 month wait.
I will spare you the general specs of the car as it has been posted all over the internet. However, one thing needs to be made clear...many peope (especialy in export markets..specifically Europe), have gotten the idea that the GR Yaris is a limited edition car with just 25,000 units produced. Not the case at all. Toyota has always claimed that they need to make ATLEAST 25,000 units for WRC homologation rules. The 25,000 is not a cieling limit. So Toyota would make as many as they can and makes sense for them to do so.
Now..back on to the specs....The 1st Edition was offered in two trim levels. RZ and RZ High Performance. The RZ is similar to the base variant you get in other markets. Howeverm the Japanese market High Performance has a slightly different spec sheet compared to equivalent grades in export markets (Circuit Pack in Europe and Rallye in Australasia).
The High Performance comes with the Torsen LSD, large brakes and stiffer suspension which also comes in the CP and Rallye variants in other markets, but it also comes with a water sprayer for the Inter-Cooler, plus the 8 speaker premium stereo setup with Active Sound Control. The RZ comes with softer suspension, minus the LSD and the premium stereo and has different seats. In other markets other markets if you want the mechanical goodies you need to order the Circuit Pack (no mechanical upgrade package was offered for the RZ) and if you want the stereo and things like seat warmers you need to go for the Comfort Pack (offered for the RZ) but you cannot order both packs.
Being the First Edition, the car was offered with a slighlt different set of option selections and finishes than the RZ High Performance you can go out there and buy right now.
The most significant of which is the FINISH of the carbon fiber roof. The roof was offered in either a marble finish or in the traditional weave finish. The latter being a wrap and the former being the natural finish of the carbon fiber panel (manufactured by Mitsubishi). The marble finish looked very dull and resembled a mossy black stone with white on it rather than black marble. So I opted out of the 200,000yen marble finish feature.
Also for the first edition, the black trim and the 18” BBS forged (18x8J +45) wheels were in matte black (only for the RZ High Performance).
The RZ high Performance 1st edition was offered with what is called the Premium Sport Seat with Emotional Package (there was some weird name for this which I cannot remember). However, this is now being offered at a premium for regular High Performance orders as well. With the feature, all the stitching in the interior is red and the perforated holes on the suede of the faux-leather + suede seats has a red effect to it.
Right now the only true differing factor between the 1st Editionand the standard edition is Morizo-san’s signature.
My specific car was ordered in Emotional Red with the Emotional Sport seat. Other options included visors and carpets. That was it....pretty bare-bone at the time of ordering.
I got a test drive 4 months after ordering my car…at which point I decided to add Toyota Safety Sense which is an option on the GR Yaris. The car’s standard safety features include TRC/VSC, ABS and 8 airbags. Two factors changed my mind about not having TSS. First was the fact that I could not see anything out the back and with no reverse camera or sensors; parking in a narrow garage would have been an issue. With the new Toyota DisplayAudio system fixing an after market reverse camera is an absolute pain and Toyota did not offer a reverse cam only option for the Japanese market. Secondly, it has a lot of oomph, and if my wife was to drive it, I felt driver aides would be a good idea.
Toyota Safety Sense adds, a reverse camera along with the usual sensors for preemptive braking, accidental acceleration mitigation, rear cross traffic alert, etc.. plus a heads up display.
The test drive was a RZ High Performance variant, but not a 1st edition. As you can see the trim is all shiny.
The wait went on... First came a key tag…
Then came a VR kit for a special event for 1st edition customers on the official launch date for the car, 16th of September.
At its official launch, Toyota released two additional grades for the GR Yaris for the Japanese market.
RC, a stripped down RZ High performance, with smaller brakes and wheels and minus the intercooler sprayer. Instead of the standard Torsen LSD, it was offered with a mechanical LSD which was more suited for gravel and tarmac racing. The idea of the RC grade was to offer a high performace, low cost version for tose who wish to race the car and customize it at their own will.
The second new grade was the RS, locally teased as Really Slow. It had the GR Yaris body with smaller brakes, wheels, softr suspension and the 1.5L NA engine out of the standard Yaris mated to a sport tuned CVT. This was obviously the cheapest GR Yaris starting at just 2.4mil yen. Apparently it is also the least sold grade for the GR Yaris. At thi point it is interesting to note that the RZ 1st Editions along with the RCs and RSs were being delivered around the first week of October along with a very few RZ High Perf. 1st Editions. The latter apparently takes a lot longer to make so delivery of the high spec versions was quite long.
The additional grades, especially the RS seemed to be a desperate attempt to make it to the 25,000 minimum production requirement (which was now not needed) as well as to spread out the production cost of the GR Yaris by transferring it across on to a cheaper, mass market variant (Toyota has hinted that they are hardly making any money on the car and that it was done just to meet race participation rules).
Then came a special mini car model of the GR Yaris made specially for those who pre-ordered the 1st Edition...
Its an amazing casting and the details are extremely good.
Then in late November, we received a call from our dealer stating that the car will arrive at the dealership on the 18th of December. Nearly 4 months ahead of schedule !!! Apparently order volumes were not as overwhelming as Toyota had originally aniticipated. Thus delivery dates had moved up quite substantially. As I write this, there are shortages in some markets in Europe and Australia but that mainly seems to stem out of sales quotas that each of these countries had negotiated for.
18th of December came about...coincidentally, the Corolla had some maintenance work scheduled for the 19th so was able to see the car at the dealer...and there she was...tucked away in a corner at the dealership.
That is a wide..wide...grill. I definitely do like the matte finish on the trim.
Now the whole registration proces had to start. As a foreigner, doing anything and everything that involves a government process in Japan completely and utterly sucks beyond words. So the registration took 2 days as opposed to the usual day (so that puts us on Sunday...this does not include the time that was taken to register and certify parking space for the car and other things which was done before the car was delivered). Now the insurance subscription can take place..that took another 3 days and finally the car was picked up on the 24th of December.
The dealer had accidentally charged us for a custom number for the plates...so selected 17.37 as a homage to the very first Toyota our famiy owned, 15 Sri 1737. A metallic blue, 1985, AE80 DX which my dad picked up in Japan when he and my mom came here for some training program in 1987. The thing costed us like 300,000LKR at the time after duty. It was also the first Toyota I drove..in 1987...
Some of the JDM-holics will notice the 3 (category) number as opposed to a 5 (categor) number you would expect in a hatchback. Although the car has a 1600cc engine and weighs just 1280kg (which apparently is spot on based on weigh-ins many have done on the internet), the car's width, at a whopping 1805mm, puts it in a standard passenger vehicle category.
We finally took delivery of the car on the 24th of December. After dropping the Corolla off at home...it was straight to the local Autobacs store for some rubber mats as snow was expected on Boxing day weekend.
So life with a yaris begins....
Edited by iRage