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Toyota GR Yaris eight-speed

Toyota has launched an eight-speed Gazoo Racing Direct Automatic Transmission version of its GR Yaris, designed to be deployed in amateur-level motorsport. This car is heralded as “expanding Toyota’s base in motorsports” and the company states that its new transmission “was developed to enable a wide range of drivers to… compete in races using an automatic transmission that would equal manual transmissions”.

One aim was to make the most of the 1.6 litre I3 turbo engine’s power band by using very close ratio gears, made possible by increasing the number of gears through switching from a six-speed manual to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Toyota says: “The use of highly heat-resistant friction material in the automatic transmissions gear-shift clutch and enhancements to the transmissions control software have resulted in world-class gear-shifting speeds.

“The automatic transmission-control software used has been optimised. While conventional gear shifting relies on sensing vehicle behaviour, such as deceleration, g-force, speed, etc, the optimised software also delicately senses the way the driver steps on the brakes and operates the accelerator.

“By doing so, it anticipates when gear shifting is necessary, even before changes in vehicle behaviour occur, realising gear selection that reflects the drivers intentions, thus leading to gear selection that is similar to how professional competition drivers shift gears.”

Toyota adds: “Aiming to improve competitiveness in motorsports, engine output has been increased from 200 kW to 224 kW (30 bhp) and torque from 370 Nm to 400 N-m. The eight-speed transmission is to enable the utmost enjoyment of the 1.6 litre I3 turbo engine, mated to a four-wheel drive drivetrain, which forms the essence of the GR Yaris.

“The result is a car that is designed so that a wide range of drivers can enjoy competing in motorsports to the fullest.”

Toyota reports that this new eight-speed transmission has been developed through rigorous testing, including by members of its World Rally Team.

“Through these and other efforts in which not only professional but also amateur drivers played roles in the repeated process of ‘breaking and fixing’, [we] achieved transmission speed and reliability that can be enjoyed by a wide range of people.”

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