UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT) formally introduced the facelifted Vios and Yaris to the Malaysian market today. It was hard to get excited for the B-segment duo considering they had to share the same platform as the highly-anticipated Toyota GR Yaris, Top Gear's Hot Hatch of the Year. At RM299,000, the 261PS GR Yaris is leagues beyond its not-so-GR namesake. But you can have a slight taste of that GR magic at the cut price of RM7,700 with something UMWT calls the Vios GR-S.
The 'S' here stands for Sport, which largely describes the kit you can spec your facelifted Toyota Vios in to have it look a little more like Toyota's WRC homologation hatch for the road. The GR-S package consists of a GR Sport grille, a 'sports-tuned' suspension, GR-S aero kit, suede and leather-wrapped sports seats and 17-inch alloy rims wrapped in low-profile Toyo TR1 tyres - the same tyres used in the Toyota Vios Gazoo Racing one make race series.
Buyers also get their fair share of GR badges, with the head rests, steering wheel, shift knob, floor carpets and even the start button all brandishing the logo now famously associated with the Toyota Supra. There's even a GR animation in the multi-info display which - surprise, surprise - is complemented by a pair of red meters with equally red needles. Red is one of two colours you can have the Vios GR-S in, with the other option being 'Platinum White Pearl'.
Interestingly, the CVT in the Vios GR-S offers 10 virtual ratios in sports mode - three more than in the standard Vios's transmission. Combined with whatever tweaks UMWT has done to the suspension, the Vios GR-S is certainly a valiant, cost-effective effort to inject Toyota's best-seller in Malaysia with a little bit more zing. That all of this is locally-engineered, making the Vios GR-S a world premier of sorts, makes for something everyone at UMWT's Klang facility (where the Vios GR-S is assembled) can be properly proud of.
The facelifted Toyota Vios is priced from RM74,623 to RM87,584 on the road without insurance. Surely RM7.7k on top of that sum is a small price to pay for a dash of Gazoo Racing... right?