The facelifted Toyota C-HR has gone on sale in its home market of Japan, and in a bit to increase its sporting pretensions, the car has been given a new GR Sport variant, getting some visual flair from the Toyota Gazoo Racing motorsports division.

General styling revisions for the facelift include a lower grille that is now even larger than before, incorporating the upper air intake and extending wider towards the corners of the front bumper. The front lip is also painted for a more dynamic look.

The head- and tail lights have also been redesigned – the former now comes with LED lighting as standard, and higher grades get projector units that combine the daytime running lights and sequential indicators into a single “eyebrow” graphic. On these range-topping models, the tail lights also feature blocky graphics and are joined together by a new gloss black spoiler.

Added to that, the GR Sport gains a more aggressive front fascia, similar to other similarly-badged models in Toyota’s lineup. The grille is more angular, making space for larger corner air inlets, and there’s also a separate intake under the grille. It also sits on massive 19-inch Y-spoke dual-tone alloy wheels.

Changes are fewer inside, with the only addition being the Orchid Brown colour scheme. Here, the GR Sport gets a few unique features of its own, such as a smaller-diameter steering wheel from the facelifted 86, sports seats, dark silver interior trim, aluminium pedals and a smattering of GR badges on the seats, steering wheel and even the starter button.

Toyota is fitting all models with a Display Audio infotainment system, replete with SmartDeviceLink smartphone mirroring and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The car also gets a Data Communications Module (DCM) that enables the addition of optional T-Connect remote vehicular tracking and operator-enabled services, the latter including a concierge and an emergency call function.

The C-HR continues to come as standard in Japan with the Toyota Safety Sense suite of driver assistance systems, including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist. New features include the intelligent clearance sonar to guard against pedal misapplication, as well as the optional rear cross traffic auto brake and 360-degree camera system.

While other markets will receive a more powerful 184 hp 2.0 litre Hybrid model, the JDM model soldiers on with the same two powertrain options as before. The first is a 8AR-FTS 1.2 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with 115 PS and 185 Nm of torque, paired to a CVT. For the first time, Japanese buyers also get an option of a six-speed manual transmission with rev-matching.

The sole Hybrid model continues to utilise a 94 hp/142 Nm 2ZR-FXE 1.8 litre Atkinson-cycle engine and a 72 hp/163 Nm electric motor, delivering a combined 122 hp and a WLTP-rated fuel efficiency figure of up to 25.8 km per litre. The GR Sport variant is available with either engine choice, with the petrol version only available with the manual gearbox.

The GR Sport models also get a few under-the-skin tweaks, such as a centre floor brace to improve structural rigidity, as well as specially-tuned springs, dampers, anti-roll bar and steering for a more dynamic driving experience. The facelifted C-HR goes on sale in Japan today, with prices ranging from 2,367,000 yen (RM91,100) to 3,095,000 yen (RM119,100).

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