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New 2022 Toyota GRMN Yaris is a GR Yaris on steroids

17 January 2022 - 17:59 By Motoring Reporter
The hardcore Toyota GRMN Yaris is enriched with motorsport-derived technology.
The hardcore Toyota GRMN Yaris is enriched with motorsport-derived technology.
Image: Supplied

Is the Toyota GR Yaris a bit too tame for your liking? Looking for a little added spice? Well then you will pleased to hear that the Japanese manufacturer is now rolling out a far more hard-core version of this much-loved rally car for the road — the menacing GRMN Yaris. 

Limited to the Japanese domestic market,  this newcomer hits the asphalt with a host of race-bred modifications that aim to enhance handling as well as overall performance. One of the ways Toyota has managed to achieve this is by making the GRMN some 20kg lighter than the regular GR Yaris thanks to the fitment of extra CFRP panels — such as that beautiful bonnet — and the deletion of the rear seats, which, if we're being honest, were pretty useless anyway. In addition to this the engineers also made the GRMN significantly stiffer by adding in an extra 545 spot-welds and some 12m of additional structural adhesive. There's also a beefy strut-brace linking the two rear shock tower mounts. For an even lower centre of gravity the vehicle's ride height has been lowered by a full 10mm, while the rear track has grown by 5mm to help create a smidgen more aft traction. 

Throw yourself inside the cabin and you will find a pair of fixed-back Recaro race seats, a model-specific Alcantara steering wheel and a redesigned dial pack. Toyota also went and removed the infotainment system because you don't need to listen to WhatsApp messages when you're out chasing lap times, do you now? What does remain is the same excellent six-speed manual transmission you find in the standard GR Yaris albeit with a shorter stack of ratios from first up to fourth. The entire box has also been strengthened with upgraded materials better suited to the abuse enthusiastic drivers are sure to dish out. Toyota thought it fitting to swap the front and rear Torsen differentials for mechanical limited-slip differentials and upgrade the clutch to a reinforced metal-matrix unit. Sweet.

On the engine front not much has changed with the 1.6-litre turbocharged triple pumping out 200kW and 390Nm — 20Nm more than it does in the standard GR Yaris. Still, factor in that weight reduction and you have a car that will blitz along at a proper rate of knots.

Toyota is also offering two optional performance packs that, for a price of course, will give the GRMN Yaris even more of edge. First up is the Circuit Package that bolts on a set of BBS GRMN-specific 18-inch wheels, upgraded 18-inch brakes and fully adjustable Bilstein shock absorbers. A more aggressive body-kit (including a swan-necked rear spoiler) also forms part of the deal. Next up is the Rally Package that throws in a unique rally-derived suspension set-up as well as a full suit of underbody protection and an internal roll-cage. 

Only 500 Toyota GRMN Yaris models are being built and those looking to own one will have to enter a special reservation lottery. Pricing begins at roughly R989,376.