The 2020 Toyota Yaris Cross is the Japanese automaker’s newest compact crossover. It is currently being sold in Japan, and Europe (along with the rest of the Asia-Pacific region) will get its first glimpse of the Yaris Cross in mid-2021. Unfortunately, the new Yaris Cross isn’t on sale in the US, and it seems we’ll be missing out on the version of Toyota’s newest CUV from Gazoo Racing.
Granted, all of this is a mild cosmetic upgrade, but Gazoo Racing has enlivened the Yaris Cross’s cosmetic appeal through the use of some rally-inspired exterior parts. At the front there are darkened headlights and black plastic panels on each corner. Also recognizable are red mud flaps, black GR wheels and two exhaust outlets for a sportier touch.
The Toyota Yaris Cross rides on Toyota’s global TNGA-B platform, the same chassis that the Euro-market Yaris is based on. Both vehicles have the same wheelbase, but the Yaris Cross offers 30mm more ground clearance than a regular Yaris hatchback.
If all of this sounds familiar, it’s because the Yaris Cross shares its platform with the highly anticipated hot hatch of the Toyota GR Yaris. Unlike the former, the GR Yaris will be coming to the US in early 2021.
In Japan, the Toyota Yaris Cross is powered by either a gasoline engine or a hybrid drive. The standard tariff is a 1.5-liter in-line three-cylinder engine paired with either a six-speed manual or a CVT automatic transmission. The hybrid will get the same 1.5-liter engine along with Toyota’s Hybrid System II in both the FWD and E-Four electric AWD.
This got us thinking: will Toyota be offering a proper Yaris Cross GR model with a 1.6-liter three-cylinder turbo engine developing 275 hp, standard four-wheel drive with two Torsen limited-slip differentials and a manual transmission similar to the new Yaris? GR? Probably not, but the Gazoo Racing livery Yaris Cross is as close as it gets to a rally-bred crossover.