Toyota Gazoo Racing GR Yaris Iberian Cup 2022 review Car News

Getting started is almost too easy: the clutch and the beautifully simple, fingertip steering are light and visibility is reasonably good. There isn’t much steering lock, but as you’ll learn as soon as you get up to speed, the car hardly needs it. You can even activate the regular car’s rev-matching feature for the six-speed gearbox, and there’s nothing else to decide that the mechanics haven’t already tuned for you, so there’s no there is nothing to distract.

What follows is an absolute riot. The Iberian Cup car feels raw but weightless and somehow delicate compared to the road car, and accelerates shockingly on a dusty surface. The engine is unchanged from factory spec, but 257 hp and 266 lb-ft are more than enough to propel you forward with just the right mix of wheel spin and lug acceleration.

And then you come to the corners. Those Cusco differentials must be pretty tight, because beyond a little understeer, the chassis responds to throttle openings with crisp but addictively controllable oversteer. The handbrake is only needed once on this rally-baby circuit, at the tightest hairpin. Elsewhere, the fact that a novice could quickly swing through third-gear corners with a good Scandinavian flick – then exit into a whirlwind of dust and the cacophony of body-pounding rocks – is telling. From the third lap, the yellow marker on the steering wheel is just 12 o’clock from fleeting, transient moments as the lock is instinctively applied from this side and the other.

The mix of adjustability and stability is simply joyful. The tires generate a surprisingly high level of grip, but it’s your choice – via the accelerator pedal – as to how much you want to dive into it or overshoot it. Freer suspension travel and reduced weight also mean that the car floats lightly on the ground and sponges up the landing of this short course’s only small jump (taken slightly from the side) almost seamlessly. It’s everything you’d expect from a junior rally warrior, although admittedly you’ll get a similar thrill throwing an old Impreza Turbo into an empty field.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-21 23:01:25

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