The last proper hot hatch from Toyota in recent history was the Corolla T-Sport, a model exclusively sold in selected European markets. That was back in 2007. A decade later, the brand finally makes a comeback to the segment with the Toyota Yaris GRMN.
Based on the facelifted third-generation Yaris supermini, it’s developed by Toyota Gazoo Racing, which runs Toyota’s WRC team. The GRMN moniker stands for Gazoo Racing Masters of Nurburgring, which really should give you an idea of where it was put through its paces.
Available only as a three-door hatchback, the Yaris GRMN receives aggressive styling at the front and back. The rear gets a diffuser and a centrally mounted exhaust. Inside, there’s a pair of adjustable bucket seats including a small-diameter steering wheel lifted from the Toyota 86.
At the heart of this Yaris is a supercharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine deploying 205 hp. Power is delivered to the front through a six-speed manual transmission. Toyota claims it boasts a best-in-class 0 to 100 km/h sprint and would pull from 80 to 120 km/h quicker than anything else in the segment.
It gets a Torsen limited slip differential, thicker anti-roll bar, shorter and stiffer springs as well as custom shock absorbers from Sachs. It rides on 17-inch wheels wrapped in 205/45 R17 Bridgestone Potenza RE050A rubbers.
The Toyota Yaris GRMN will be sold in limited numbers – just 1,000 in fact – across Europe. Pricing has yet to be announced, but it’ll cost roughly the same as the Toyota 86.