The Toyota GR Yaris looks like a fantastic little hot hatch, but the company has no plans to bring it to North America anytime soon. The good news is that future GR models seem more likely to be available in the United States. In a recently published video, the automaker shows the assembly line that builds the GR Yaris and would likely also be responsible for the assembly of future performance vehicles.
The dedicated GR production line is located in Toyota’s Motomachi factory. The automaker configured it to move the assembly through various cells that allow more handwork than a standard vehicle in this factory. As the company describes the strategy in the video, the goal is to have a place that can “produce millions of sports cars with no difference in quality.”
A GR Yaris is not only the standard model with a few different parts. For example, there is an additional 36 feet (11 meters) of structural adhesive and 200 additional welds in an effort to increase stiffness. Technicians manage the alignment adjustment on each car.
“Thanks to its new manufacturing methods, the GR factory is able to manage multi-type and small volume production without compromising productivity,” writes Toyota in the description of this video. Although the statement is hardly definitive, it gives additional credibility to the idea that the GR Yaris is not a one-off business. After investing in setting up this production line, giving up the effort so quickly would not make much sense.
Rumors say the Corolla or C-HR are most likely to be the next vehicles to receive GR treatment. Either could be fun with the 1.6 liter turbocharged three-cylinder from the GR Yaris developing 257 horsepower (192 kilowatts) and 266 pound-feet (360 Newton meters). In addition, the tailgate has a three-mode four-wheel drive system that allows owners to select the torque distribution.