After 17 years away, the all-conquering Toyota team is back in the FIA World Rally Championship with the 2017 Yaris WRC. Toyota have revealed a new hot hatch, the Yaris GRMN. Powered by a supercharged 1.8L 4 pot with 205 hp, the GRMN Yaris gets more poke than the new Fiesta ST. The transmission comes in 6-speed manual flavour with front wheel drive. Other features include an aero kit for the body and upgrades to its wheels, tires and brakes. Toyota’s performance division GRMN (Gazoo Racing Masters of Nürburgring) usually release cars destined only for the Japanese market like the Toyota 86 GRMN. The hot Yaris will be available worldwide, hinting at a more performance friendly future for Toyota cars. This has inspired the new limited-edition Yaris GRMN: a full-blooded hot hatch tuned and tested on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife.
Inside our Nürburgring garage, teams of engineers painstakingly labour over every detail of the Yaris GRMN. Incorporating the same facelifted body shell as its Yaris WRC brother, they test and retest parts to ensure the Yaris GRMN performs even better than before! Thanks to an exciting blend of power and precision that’s born from world rally, the Yaris GRMN delivers a performance that makes you feel as one on the road. The Yaris GRMN’s powerful 1.8-litre supercharged engine helps it reach speeds of 230kph, but that’s nothing without the precise control of suspension, brakes and steering. To achieve their performance targets, Yaris GRMN’s engineers live by the mantra: test, learn, improve! While WRC fans excitedly lined the stages of the 2017 ADAC Rally Deutschland, two-time Ladies World Rally Champion, Isolde Holderied, treated unsuspecting TOYOTA GAZOO Racing fans to a test drive they’ll never forget!
The GRMN had a unique exterior paint with red and black stripes. While it still looked pretty much similar to the Yaris, but with a more aggressive design and a big rear spoiler. Inside the GRMN were chunky sport seats that were very comfortable aluminum pedals to complete the sports look. The steering wheel was also different from the one on the regular Yaris. The back seats had limited headroom and legroom, not suitable for full grown ups. Lots of parts were replaced to achieve the GRMN’s performance, including the suspension that became better, lower and stiffer at the same time. The small GRMN handled really well in turns with almost no body roll. The steering was really fast and pretty accurate, however, it did not offer as much feedback as a true sports car did. Buying a GRMN would be a difficult task, as only 600 units were produced worldwide in 2018.
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