Toyota Yaris Gazoo Racing Masters of Nurburgring Does Exactly What You’d Expect

It might be the least exciting-looking hot hatch to come out this decade, but the Yaris GRMN is backed by the company’s endurance racing team and has that GT 86 spirit. What’s more, the French are talking about the supercharged 1.8-liter being the same engine as in the Lotus Elise, plus or minus a few horsepower.

There hasn’t been a powerful hot hatch that’s not turbocharged since the Clio 3 RS. And we’re also pleased to announce Toyota didn’t mess around with cylinder deactivation, auto gearboxes, and all that nonsense. Oh, and thanks to the centrally-mounted exhaust system, it also sounds like a car you drive on special occasions.

The output is expected to be somewhere between 212 and 215 PS with 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) sprints taking 6.3 to 6.5 seconds. Yes, that means it’s way faster in a straight line than the GT 86, possibly around the track too.

While it might not look as exciting as a Fiesta ST, the Yaris GRMN ticks some big boxes. It sits 30mm lower than standard on Sachs dampers matched by stiffer, lower springs. Ventilated disk brakes with four-pot calipers help it stop, while a mechanical limited slip differential takes care of cornering.

We’ve also learned that production will be strictly limited to 400 units, making this twice as rare as the Ferrari F12tdf.

According to the French journalists, the Toyota Boshoku ‘Ultrasuade’ bucket seats look good but are a little high. But that’s because the Yaris was never designed to be sporty in the first place.

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Also, while Toyota is clearly venturing into new territory, the Yaris GRMN won’t benefit from word-of-mouth publicity, nor is it the kind of affordable pocket rocket every teen aspires to own. Prices have been announced at €29,900 for much of Europe, and £26,295 for Britain. That’s Golf GTI money.

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