New Toyota Yaris GR Sport: specs, price and on-sale date
Hybrid-powered Yaris GR Sport is inspired by powerful limited-run Yaris GRMN
Toyota will unveil a racy Yaris GR Sport at the Paris Motor Show in October, combining fuel-efficient hybrid power with the style and handling prowess of the limited-run Toyota Yaris GRMN hot hatchback.
The supercharged Yaris GRMN – co-developed by Toyota's Gazoo Racing division – was one of the most extreme hot hatchbacks of recent years, and a more affordable follow-up model is about to be introduced. The Yaris GR Sport promises the same lively feel, but at a lower price and with far lower running costs.
As the first model in what's promised to be a new range of performance-engineered Toyota cars, the Yaris GR Sport claims to channel Gazoo Racing's motorsport expertise into an economical car you can enjoy on normal roads and not just the race track.
Toyota Yaris GR Sport design
The Yaris GR Sport clearly imitates the style of the high-performance GRMN, with a black roof that follows the lines of the windscreen all the way to the small, high-mounted rear spoiler. There are door mouldings in gloss black, matching the foglight surrounds and honeycomb front grille. The GR Sport gets its own headlight design with black details inside the housing. Dark tinted glass completes the look, with the option of extra red highlights to add visual interest.
Inside, 'GR' branding abounds, with Gazoo Racing's initials appearing on the black suede sports seats, the silver-edged carpet mats and the instrument panel's digital display, which shows 'GR' when the engine start button is pressed. The GR Sport uses the same small three-spoke steering wheel as the rear-wheel-drive Toyota GT86 sports coupe, which helps the Yaris feel a part of Toyota's sporting family.
Engine and performance
Under the surface, the Yaris GRMN's influence is most readily seen in the GR Sport's suspension, which uses special shock absorbers from German specialist Sachs, with a solid anti-roll bar for extra stability. It sits 11mm lower than the standard Toyota Yaris, and its stance is emphasised by unique black 17-inch alloy wheels.
The GR Sport uses the same Bridgestone Potenza tyres as the GRMN, but its engine couldn't be more different – Toyota's fuel-efficient 1.5-litre hybrid can be found under the bonnet, providing 99bhp when petrol engine and electric motor work together. It may not be as fast as the 209bhp GRMN, but those suspension upgrades and sticky tyres should make it easy to use every bit of the GR Sport's power on a winding road.
Toyota Yaris GR Sport price and on-sale date
Toyota will officially unveil the Yaris GR Sport at the Paris Motor Show on 2 October, ahead of sales beginning later this year. Official UK pricing has yet to be announced, although it's sure to be far cheaper than the £26,295 Yaris GRMN.