Earlier this week we reported on a pair of Toyota teasers, one of which appeared to be a more angular GR Yaris with a rather large spoiler attached to the rear. The rumour mill, and of course anyone who saw the image, speculated that this was to be a hotted-up version of the homologation special which we have all grown to adore so.
And so, hot off the press, we present to you the Toyota GRMN Yaris, a limited-run hot hatch for both on- and off-road hooliganism. Limited to just 500 units, you won’t see many on the road, but to those who know what it is, petrolhead excitement noises will be present.
As anticipated, the GRMN Yaris is leaner, stiffer, and sharper than the Yaris GR upon which it is based, but interestingly with the same 200 kW and 360 N.m from its ferociously pokey 1,6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder motor. Circuit package aside (more on that in a bit) the focus here has been to increase the stiffness of the unibody, decrease weight and shorter gearing for good measure. It might not sound like much, but it’ll likely be a lot. It’ll be sharper, lighter and more engaging.
Thanks to a smattering of carbon fibre – bonnet, roof, and rear spoiler – as well as the removal of the rear seats, a weight saving of 20 kg has been achieved, and increased rigidity comes as a result of 565 extra spot welds over the “standard” GR Yaris. Dimensionally, there’s an extra 1,5 cm or so in width and as well as the aforementioned short ration 6-speed manual gearbox, there’s a lovely mechanical limited-slip differential.
Slap on what Toyota call the ‘Circuit Pack’ and you’re afforded suspension with adjustable Bilstein shock absorbers, bigger radius brake discs and beefier callipers, 18-inch wheels and some bodywork that’s been skirted, spoiled and lipped to within an inch of its life. Only 50 of these will be available. There’s a Rally Package that is available, too, offering GR shock absorber and short stabilizer links, a GR roll bar, and a GR underbody guard set.
Come September, dealerships will start to offer some of the GRMN Yaris upgrades to existing GR Yaris owners. The orderbooks for the GRMN Yaris, in the meantime, are now open with a lottery system making the final decision as to who can have one and who can’t. There’s no word yet on local availability, but deliveries are said to start at the end of Q3 2022 with pricing set to ¥7 317 000 or R985 000.
See how the GR Yaris stacked up in CAR Performance Shootout 2022 in our January 2022 issue of CAR.