The Toyota GR Yaris has added to its burgeoning trophy cabinet, being voted Northern Car of the Year by the Northern Group of Motoring Writers (NGMW), the leading organisation for automotive journalists based in the north of England.
It is the first time in the awards’ 16-year history that a performance car has taken this accolade, topping the poll of the 36 members.
Andy Harris, Chairman of the NGMW and Motoring Editor of the Yorkshire Times, presented the traditional award, a suitably inscribed miner’s lamp, to James Clark, Toyota (GB) Senior PR Manager, at the annual northern test day this week, organised by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). “An award voted for by motoring journalists is always special so everyone at Toyota GB is thrilled,” said Clark.
“Following GR Supra and ahead of the upcoming GR86 coupe, our rally-derived Yaris has really put the Gazoo Racing name on the map in the UK and I know our colleagues at Gazoo Racing in Japan and Europe will be just as delighted. A huge thank you to the NGMW – our miner’s lamp will take pride of place in the trophy cabinet.”
In another first, Northern Group members were invited to choose the best vehicle in each of six categories with GR Yaris also named the Best Fun Car.
GR Yaris is the most radical Yaris model yet, developed directly from Toyota’s championship-winning World Rally experience. Using a bespoke platform, a new GR-Four permanent all-wheel drive system and a new 257bhp 1.6-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine, it is essentially an affordable rally car for the road, focused on handling and driver rewards.