The 2020 Toyota Yaris Cross is the Japanese carmaker’s newest compact crossover. It’s currently on sale in Japan, and Europe (along with the rest of the Asia-Pacific region) will get its first taste of the Yaris Cross in mid-2021. Unfortunately, the new Yaris Cross will not be sold in the United States, and it seems we’ll be missing out on Gazoo Racing’s version of Toyota’s newest CUV.
Granted all of this is a mild cosmetic upgrade, but Gazoo Racing has livened up the Yaris Cross’s cosmetic appeal by employing some rally-inspired exterior bits. At the front, you get darkened headlights and black plastic cladding at each corner. Also evident are red mud flaps, black GR wheels, and twin exhaust outlets for a sportier touch.
The Toyota Yaris Cross is riding on Toyota’s TNGA-B global platform, the same chassis underpinning the Euro-market Yaris. Both vehicles share the same wheelbase, but the Yaris Cross offers 1.2-inches (30 mm) more ground clearance over a regular Yaris hatchback.
If all of this sounds familiar, it’s because the Yaris Cross shares its platform with the much-anticipated Toyota GR Yaris hot hatch. But unlike the former, the GR Yaris is coming to the USA by early 2021.
In Japan, the Toyota Yaris Cross is powered by either a gasoline engine or hybrid propulsion. The standard fare is a 1.5-liter inline three-cylinder motor paired with either a six-speed manual or CVT automatic transmission. The hybrid will get the same 1.5-liter motor along with Toyota’s Hybrid System II in both FWD and E-Four electric AWD.
This got us thinking: Will Toyota offer a proper Yaris Cross GR model complete with a 275-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter three-cylinder motor, standard AWD with a pair of Torsen limited-slip differentials, and a manual gearbox similar to the new Yaris GR? Probably not, but the Yaris Cross in Gazoo Racing livery is as close as you can get to a rally-bred crossover.