Toyota Yaris GRMN – supercharged hatch with 208 hp

This is the new Toyota Yaris GRMN, the brand’s hot hatch that is the result of its involvement in the World Rally Championship. According to its maker, the hot Yaris “promises speed, poise and rich driver rewards,” and certainly has the right ingredients to deliver.

In a world of turbocharged hot hatches like the Fiesta ST, Toyota has taken a different route, fitting the Yaris GRMN with a 1.8 litre supercharged petrol engine. The mill makes 208 hp (205 bhp) and if you’re unable to change your own gears, too bad, as a six-speed manual is the only transmission option for the front-wheel drive car.

Toyota claims best-in-class times both for the zero to 100 km/h sprint as well as acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h in fourth gear, but did not disclose any actual figures. If the Yaris GRMN is as fast as it is said to be, it should make short work of the Fiesta ST’s century time of 6.7 seconds.

Beneath that sporty-looking bodywork, Toyota also reinforced the hot hatch’s chassis by introducing additional bracing, including an extra bar between the front suspension towers. As the term ‘GRMN’ stands for “Gazoo Racing, Masters of the Nurburgring,” this Yaris not only has a substantially long name, but has gone through extensive testing at the renowned German race track.

As a result, the car features shorter springs to make sure it is closer to the ground, plus there are Sachs-developed dampers and a larger diameter front stabiliser bar to go along with it. For even better traction and handling, it also gets a Torsen limited-slip differential and large ventilated brake discs with four-pot front callipers.

On the exterior, the three-door hatch comes with new front and rear bumpers that give it an adorable yet aggressive look. This is further complemented with a rear wing spoiler, rear diffuser, a centre exhaust tailpipe and BBS multi-spoke alloys measuring 17 inches (same number of years since Toyota joined the WRC).

The paintwork follows a white with red and black theme, which is meant to mimic the livery applied on the thoroughbred rally car. While the exterior is all flash, the cabin is a little more reserved by comparison.

You’ll find a pair of sports seats at the front, which were designed specifically for the car by Toyota Boshoku to provide impressive body holding and support. Other changes include a leather-wrapped steering wheel taken from the GT86 sports car, an aluminium pedal set and a redesigned instrument meter that highlights the Yaris GRMN’s sporty nature.