The Toyota Yaris GRMN is here at last! The latest performance machine to come from the Japan, this hot hatch is developed by Gazoo Racing — the team behind Toyota’s global racing activities including entries in the World Rally Championship, Le Mans 24 Hours and VLN Endurance Series.
The result is a Yaris unlike any other — it’s seriously quick, powerful, fun to drive and just as well-suited to the track as it is a country road. We’ve got behind the wheel, and here are five of the coolest features on the new Toyota Yaris GRMN.
Race car looks
Just take one glance at the Yaris GRMN and you’ll realise that this is no ordinary hatchback. It has aggressive-looking bodywork, 17-inch BBS alloy wheels, a centre-mounted exhaust, a rear spoiler and to finish the package, an eye-catching set of decals.
This has all been inspired by the Yaris WRC car, and it’s fair to say Toyota have pulled off the race-car-for-the-road look.
A big engine packed in a small package
A supercharged 1.8-litre petrol engine sits under the bonnet of the little three-door Yaris — a reworked version of the unit found in the Lotus Elise.
It develops 209bhp and 250Nm of torque — taking the tiny hatch from 0-60mph in 6.2 seconds and up to an electronically limited top speed of 143mph.
One loud exhaust
Providing a voice to the engine is an exhaust system that had to be heavily reworked just to be able to fit in the Yaris’ chassis.
The original car was not designed with a high-performance variant on the cars, so the brains at Gazoo Racing had to get creative with a single-catalytic convertor system, which uses Lexus components. The end result sounds violent, in a good way.
Fancy bucket seats
Move over, Alcantara, there’s a new kid on the block. The GRMN’s front racing seats are covered in a plush material named Ultrasuede, which looks and feels better than most other options currently on the market.
The units themselves were designed specifically for the car by in-house component manufacturer Toyota Boshoku. They provide great support — even under the hardest driving — while remaining extremely comfortable.
Easier to drive than looks may suggest
While the Yaris GRMN looks and sounds pretty wild, it’s actually an easy thing to drive.
Sure, it’s seriously quick and precise, but it doesn’t require tons of effort to have fun and you’re unlikely to end up outside your comfort zone both on the road and track.
Even better, it’ll put a smile on your face every single time, too.