Toyota_Vitz_GRMN_Turbo_001

There hasn’t been a small Japanese hot hatch for the longest time, but a new one has just emerged from the unlikeliest source – Toyota. This is the Toyota Vitz GRMN Turbo, a production version of the concept of the same name shown at the Tokyo Auto Salon in January this year.

Tuned by Gazoo Racing (GRMN stands for Gazoo Racing Meister of Nurburgring), the hot Vitz/Yaris adds on a turbocharger to the familiar 1.5 litre 1NZ-FE engine (also found in our local Vios) to produce 152 PS and 206 Nm of torque. With a five-speed manual ‘box, low 1,070 kg kerb weight and specially tuned suspension, it promises to be a big ball of fun.

The production car drops the concept’s sportier looking front bumper (taken from the Australian-market three-door Yaris ZR) in favour of one sourced from the Europe-only Yaris Hybrid model. It also makes use of the Yaris Hybrid’s LED-incrusted headlamps.

Other than that, the rest of the body add-ons – side skirts, huge rear diffuser, rear deck wing, and LED rear lights– are all new and bespoke to the GRMN Turbo. Also packaged in are a set of 17-inch BBS aluminium wheels, uprated all-round disc brakes and a sport exhaust system.

Inside, there are deep, Alcantara-lined bucket seats, special GRMN instrument cluster, steering wheel and gear knob with contrasting red stitching and alloy foot pedals (three of them of course). The audio system has been deleted to save weight.

If you haven’t already guessed, the Toyota Vitz GRMN Turbo is only available in Japan. Production is limited to just 200 units, so chances of seeing one outside its home market are slim to none. Still, it’s good to know that somewhere out there, small and fun Toyotas still exist.