New Toyota GR Yaris GRMN is lighter, faster hot hatchback

Toyota GR Yaris GRMN 01

Hardcore, two-seat Japanese-market creation brings a raft of upgrades over the standard car

Toyota has revived the GRMN moniker for a heavily uprated and highly exclusive version of its GR Yaris hot hatchback for the Japanese market.

Revealed at the Tokyo Auto Salon – one of the world’s biggest exhibitions of modified cars – the new GRMN Yaris is described as a “fully tuned model of the GR Yaris that has gone through rigorous refinement with professional drivers”. 

Just 500 examples will be built, all destined for sale in Toyota’s home market from summer this year via a ‘reservation lottery’. Prices start at 7,317,000 yen (£46,850) – a significant premium over the standard car.

As suggested by its GRMN badge – ‘Gazoo Racing, tuned by the Meister of the Nürburgring’ – the new special edition has been developed by Toyota’s GR performance division using learnings from motorsport.

The headline upgrades are a stiffer body (courtesy of 546 new spot welds and 12 metres of extra structural adhesive), a 20kg weight loss (the rear seats make way for a chunky cross-brace), a 10mm increase in width for improved aerodynamics and a 10mm drop in ride height which brings a lower centre of gravity. 

The GRMN Yaris also receives a mechanical limited-slip differential and a new gearbox with close-ratio 1st to 4th gears to “make efficient use of the engine power band”, while the 1.6-litre turbo three-pot engine has also been boosted slightly to give 268bhp and 288lb ft. The company has yet to confirm the impact this has had on the GR Yaris’s 5.5sec 0-62mph time.

Toyota says the hot hatch “has evolved into a car that can be driven faster and with more peace of mind, with improved braking force, grip, cornering and following performance based on feedback from professional drivers”. 

The 500 buyers will be offered the choice of two optional upgrade packages on top of the GRMN modifications.

The Circuit package brings bespoke 18in BBS wheels, adjustable Bilstein shocks, a carbonfibre rear spoiler and a subtle body kit, while the Rally package gets a bespoke GR suspension upgrade, a protective undertray and a roll bar. 

The GRMN Yaris is marked out from the standard car most obviously by its exposed carbonfibre bonnet and roof panel and Recaro bucket seats. 

Alongside the GRMN Yaris, Toyota has launched a new personalisation programme which aims to provide customers with cars “that evolve quickly and can be tailored to individuals” like a race car. Driving data from each car can be used by engineers to usher in bespoke software tweaks and hardware settings to optimise performance for its driver.

Autocar RSS Feed Read More