Dan Prosser from AutoCar was given the chance to test drive the new Toyota Yaris GRMN in prototype form and he found it to be a very promising hot hatch.
Some may only know the Yaris as a utility vehicle meant to ferry passengers from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’ without much pomp and circumstance, but the Yaris GRMN may prove to be anything but.
An initialism for Gazoo Racing Meister of Nürburgring, the GRMN badge is already available in Japan and Toyota is planning to launch it in Europe. As Toyota’s in house performance division that runs the manufacturer’s LMP1 programme, Gazoo Racing has more than enough experience with fine tuning cars.
Their efforts with the Yaris paid off in the form of a 210bhp, 1.8-litre supercharged four-cylinder hot hatch. A manual gearbox sends power to the front wheels and it comes equipped with bespoke springs and Sachs dampers, stiffer body and an exhaust system that produces a tinny tune. The inside received a bit or TLR as well with specially developed sports seats and a steering wheel taken from the GT86.
Prosser found the ride to be firm, with plenty of support around each turn, Sachs dampers works well to absorb most road flaws, the supercharged engine’s throttle response feels instantaneous, decent steering and the four-pot brakes has a good amount of bite. Though a few improvements could be made, mainly with the Bridgestone tyres that doesn’t feel grippy enough.
Only 400 Toyota Yaris GRMN will be sold in Europe and the UK is only getting 100 of them for £26,295 each.