Toyota GR Yaris With 8-Speed Automatic Now In Development

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We’re pretty sure you’ve read enough about the Toyota GR Yaris to know it’s a hoot. The little hot hatch can hold the candle against bigger and more powerful competitors, but more importantly, it has a six-speed shift stick that fans from around the world love.

But if you want a rally Yaris hatchback but with automatic convenience, we’ve got good news for you. Toyota is currently developing an 8-speed slushbox for the GR Yaris, and made a public appearance at the Toyota Gazoo Rally Racing Challenge held recently in Japan.

Japan car watch have seen the car in metal, with matching photos showing the cabin. According to the publication, the GR Yaris with an 8-speed automatic transmission is currently being developed. The prototype that appeared this week was numbered 109 and it appeared to be modified up front to allow additional airflow to the automatic gearbox oil cooler.

The GR Yaris automatic gearbox is a conventional automatic torque converter. Of course, it has a manual mode, which can be activated via the paddle shifter behind the wheel.

Toyota says that it is aimed not only at fuel efficiency but also for sporty drives. In fact, the Vice Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation, Mr. Shigeru Hayakawa, was behind the wheel of the prototype attending the Toyota Gazoo Rally Racing Challenge. He even joked that he had already cracked the transmission once, which was part of the development stage.

While it’s in development, this isn’t confirmation that the production model will get an AT gearbox. If so, the next question is when. And more importantly, will it reach the United States? Time will tell, but at least the bigger Toyota GR Corolla will likely debut in the United States this year.

You can catch no. The 109 GR Yaris on the Toyota Gazoo Racing live stream pinned below right at the 1:18:49 mark.

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