A stock Toyota GR Yaris has just lapped the Nurburgring in 7:56 (BTG) on Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres in 6 degrees Celsius conditions and that’s mightily impressive.

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Just when you thought the applause for the new Toyota GR Yaris couldn’t get any louder, it suddenly does. While this may not be any official Nürburgring lap as YouTuber Captain Gasrank completes the tourist layout of the Nürburgring, otherwise known as Bridge To Gantry (BTG). This misses out the stretch between the last gantry and the first bridge. As a result, the lap totals 19.1km opposed to a full lap distance of 20.832km, which equates to around 20-30 seconds faster.

However, factor in that this was during a tourist track day, the Toyota GR Yaris was running on a Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyre, and finally conditions of just 6 degrees Celsius, you start to appreciate the engineering feat Toyota has managed to create with its 4WD system. Bravo. Oh, and this is a completely stock car, no track-based modifications.

Toyota GR Yaris

What is the new Toyota GR Yaris?

The new Toyota GR Yaris is Toyota’s first genuine all-wheel drive sports car and its first homologation model for World Rally Championship competition since the end of production of the Celica GT-Four in 1999. Well, it would have been, had Toyota not canned the competition car in mid-2020. However, the car was still engineered for that reason, so think of it still has a homologation special.

The WRC-skilled team of designers and engineers at Tommi Mäkinen Racing focused on perfecting the aerodynamics, weight distribution and light weight of the new car – the three qualities essential to achieving the best performance and drivability.

Toyota GR Yaris

The body is made from lightweight materials including carbon fibre and aluminium to deliver a 1280kg kerb weight. Couple that with the all-new 1.6-litre turbo engine that produces 257bhp and 267lb ft of torque and Toyota says the GR Yaris will sprint from 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds and go on to a top speed of 143mph.

The GR Yaris’s performance is supported by a new GR-Four all-wheel drive system designed to optimise drive power to each wheel, while also being simple and lightweight. The distribution of torque between the front and rear axles is governed by a high-response coupling and has, in theory, the ability to send 100% of the torque to either the front or rear wheels. As an option in the Circuit Pack, two Torsen limited-slip differentials manage the split between the left and right-side wheels to give natural and direct car control.

Toyota GR Yaris

That track pack also includes 18-inch lightweight forged wheels shod in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres, while the standard model gets Dunlop SP Sport MAXX050; both measure 225/40R18

The driver can adjust four-wheel drive performance to suit their preference or the driving situation using a 4WD mode dial switch. In normal mode the base front/rear torque distribution is 60:40; in Sport mode the balance shifts to the rear, with 30:70 distribution to achieve a fun-to-drive quality on winding roads and circuits; and in Track mode the base setting is 50:50 for fast, competitive driving on circuits or special stages. In each mode, the torque balance will automatically adjust in response to the driver’s inputs, vehicle behaviour and road or track conditions.

Next Ram 1500 Built To Serve trucks take a maritime land force-inspired tack

Ram is launching another round of its Built To Service Edition military-inspired pickup trucks. Arriving at dealerships in the first quarter of 2021, the fourth batch of these limited-edition Ram 1500 pickups adds two new colors—Tank and Flame Red.

Built To Serve Editions are meant to represent the five United States armed forces. In a press release, Ram said the new exterior colors have a “maritime land force” theme, but didn’t elaborate beyond that.

Production of the latest Built To Serve Edition trucks is limited to 2,000 units—evenly split between the Tank and Flame Red exterior colors. The trucks also get black interiors with Medium Graystone accent stitching, as well as 20-inch aluminum wheels, body-color fender flares, U.S. flag badges, and a “Built To Serve” decal on each of the rear quarter panels.

2021 Ram 1500 Built To Serve Edition

2021 Ram 1500 Built To Serve Edition

Other styling features include an all-black grille and surrounds, and black bumpers, side steps, and exhaust tips. Previous Built To Serve Editions were available in any Ram 1500 cab, bed, and powertrain configuration, and that will likely also be the case with the latest versions.

Built To Serve Editions also get the 4×4 Off-Road Group package, adding all-terrain tires, an electronic-locking rear axle, hill-descent control, tow hooks, off-road shocks, and skid plates for the front suspension, steering gear, fuel tank, and transfer case.

Orders for the 2021 Ram 1500 Built To Serve Edition open in December, with production scheduled to start in early 2021 at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, located just north of Detroit. Ram said it is now launching a new Built To Serve Edition 1500 approximately every three months.



Welcome to this week’s FC Throwback, where we take a look back at some of our favourite previous features. This week it’s an interview with Dennis McCarthy from 2013. Forget your Vin Diesels and Paul Walkers. The real hero of the Fast And Furious Series is this fella – the bloke who gets ‘em the cars!

Feature taken from Fast Car magazine. Words Midge Photos Universal

Dennis McCarthy Fast and Furious cars interview

So Dennis – how would you describe your job?
I supply cars for movies, it’s that simple.

And how many have you worked on?
Quite a lot over the past few years, like 25-movies. All kinds like Die Hard 4.0, Batman Begins, Total Recall and, of course, every Fast and Furious movie since Tokyo Drift.

How do you co-ordinate so many cars for the Fast and Furious series?
They’re out and out car movies, so you have to. I have a large, dedicated team though, both here and at every main location. Anything we can source locally we do, anything else we ship. The trouble is it’s rarely just one car, you need to find multiples for all the different shots in a movie.

Dennis McCarthy Fast and Furious cars interview

Did you have a favourite European you had to find?
The Mk1 Escort was cool. It’s kinda like the UK’s ’69 Camaro. It’s a legend and not easy to find a great one, let alone 7. It was one of the special hero cars, I think it definitely had the most character.

What others can we expect to see in the European sequences?
It was a big deal and I had to have a huge team over there. In all we had to source around 300 cars for Europe. There’s everything from Aston Martins and Mercedes and a whole fleet of BMW M5s. Only then can we get the parts to make them all look the same.

Dennis McCarthy Fast and Furious cars interview

Who modifies them?
We do – it’s all done in-house. We roll into town like some sort of huge messed up circus bringing our workshop, transporters and 60-70 staff with us. It’s a vast, vast operation.

How do they differ from other films?
Each movie is different. These tuner cars are awesome and built to be modified. In some other films you have to go crazy with machine guns and custom builds. The cars in the Death Race films were fun, but a lot of work.

Dennis McCarthy Fast and Furious cars interview

What’s the most of any single car you’ve had the find?
Working on the Green Hornet I had to find 27 1965 Chrysler Imperials to modify. I think we had every one in the US – we had to go to Canada for the last one.

Do you ever get sad at them getting wrecked?
I used to, but you become immune to it. Taking a sledgehammer to the side of a brand new M5 is just part of the job. It is a shame with some of the older, rarer stuff but, to be fair, most of the cars we buy in that category start out as wrecks. The vast majority are rebuilt shells that would never be able to go on the road anyway. There are plenty of recycled ones too.

Dennis McCarthy Fast and Furious cars interview

Yeah some of the ‘69 Chargers in Fast and Furious 4 were former General Lees from the Dukes of Hazard. That sort of thing, you’d be surprised what turns up.

Do the enthusiasts get on your back when you break ‘em?
Sometimes when they don’t understand. If it’s mega rare and important we generally don’t kill it. In Fast and Furious the rare Buick GNXs we wrecked sent people nuts – in fact they were only dressed up Buick Regals.

Dennis McCarthy Fast and Furious cars interview

How do you decide on the cars?
The script usually dictates the cars, like in Fast and Furious the muscle stuff is usually Vin’s and the tuner stuff Paul’s. A lot of times there’s a few they ask for and we suggest the rest.

Where do you get them?
Apart form the ones realised by the manufactures, mostly the same as anyone else. Trawling through classified ads, on the web, car auctions, pretty much how you would find one.

Dennis McCarthy Fast and Furious cars interview

Do you tell the owners where their cars are going?
No, never.

Do the manufactures ever refuse to give you cars?
Yes, all the time, sometimes even if you’re paying, but I don’t push it. You can’t be too insistent because you can wreck a whole fleet of cars from a company and then it all gets cut out of the film. When you’re condensing 6-hours of film into 2 hours sometimes that happens.

Dennis McCarthy Fast and Furious cars interview

Do you have to work on a strict budget?
Of course, in Hollywood there’s always a budget – or we’d be smashing up Veyrons all day long.

What do you drive yourself?
Not a Veyron, and certainly not a Prius! I have a Cadillac CTS-V which is a bit like a 567 horsepower Vauxhall. I also have a ’65 Chevelle SS and a few bits and pieces knocking around.

And what did you do before you got into film?
Just build fast cars, I always have, I always will.

Interview taken from Fast Car magazine issue 330, as promotion for Fast & Furious 6