This year’s Performance Car Champion is a real giant killer who fights against machines with twice the performance and three times the prices. The GR Yaris was one of the highly anticipated novelties of the year and its mix of performance, attitude and price means it did not disappoint. Few cars are so much fun to drive, yet this pocket rocket is easy to use and relatively cheap to operate.
The car exudes motorsport appeal and the Toyota makes your heart beat faster even before you even open the door. With its sweeping wheel arches, trunk spoiler and muscular appearance, the rally-inspired Yaris looks as if it would like to tackle a stage in the forest as much as it does the school run.
But it’s the captivating driving style that really sets the GR Yaris apart. Stiffened suspension and a sophisticated all-wheel drive system ensure persistent grip and acrobatic agility, the 1.6-liter three-cylinder turbo engine with 257 hp provides explosive acceleration, while the six-speed manual transmission enables deliciously mechanical shifting
Action. In the real world, the Toyota delivers real supercar slaying pace, and on narrow and winding back roads, few cars will be able to keep up.
Take it easy and the GR is as easy to live with as any Yaris. It’s well built, lavishly equipped, and surprisingly practical, while an impressive guarantee offers security. With prices starting at £ 30,000, it’s not exactly cheap, but in terms of performance, driving pleasure and rarity (only 1,000 will come to the UK this year), the Toyota is relative compared to the exotic machines it has beaten for the crown Bargain.
Toyota GR Yaris Circuit Package (£ 33,520)
With the GR Yaris, Toyota has developed an exciting performance car that is in great demand. However, offers are still available; Opt for the hardcore circuit pack and there is a zero percent financing contract for a two-year PCP. A 10 percent deposit equates to a monthly payment of £ 522.
The beautiful Roma is a Ferrari Grand Tourer in the best of tradition. With its razor-sharp V8 turbo engine, pulverizing power and classic rear-wheel drive layout, it delights enthusiastic drivers. But a luxurious cabin, decent space and a pleasant ride make this horse a prancing horse that leaves you relaxed and refreshed after a cross-continent trip.
Porsche’s evergreen 911 is getting better every year. More than half a century of evolution has made the rear-engined machine one of the greatest sports cars of all time. From the entry-level Carrera to the 300 km / h Turbo S and the route-oriented GT3, the Porsche is brilliant to drive, while the neat packaging makes the 911 more practical and usable than most performance cars.
New Car Awards 2021: the winners
Auto Express special edition
For the full experience, be sure to get a copy of our special New Car Awards collector’s edition of Auto Express magazine, which is available in stores now.
You can purchase individual issues of Auto Express or subscribe to the magazine’s cover price for even bigger discounts. You can currently subscribe to 6 issues for just £ 1 and download our digital issue straight to your desktop, phone or tablet.