Toyota GR Yaris GRMN prototype captured in spy photos

New spy photos fresh from Germany give us yet another look at Toyota’s upcoming subcompact hot hatch. While the Toyota GR Yaris is not destined for American showrooms, we’re always happy to see Toyota hard at work developing enthusiast cars. Our spies speculate that this particular prototype may be a hardcore GRMN variant of the new baby rally car. 

This prototype boasts canards on its front bumper and an upsized rear wing, suggesting that it might be the GRMN variant, rather than the “basic” GR Yaris. GRMN stands for “Gazoo Racing Meisters of the Nürburgring,” after all, so it makes all the sense in the world that Toyota’s motorsports development specialists would take their prototype to its namesake road course. 

The GR Yaris packs 268 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque from a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-three cylinder engine. It comes with a six-speed manual transmission that’s matched to an all-wheel-drive system that uses a multi-plate clutch center differential to divvy up power, with three different settings (Normal, Sport and Track). Both axles are equipped with Torsen limited-slip differentials; Toyota says this combo is good for a run to 62 mph in 5.5 seconds.

The chassis has seen a number of upgrades, too. The front suspension continues to use MacPherson struts, but the rear has been changed to a double-wishbone independent design. The front brakes now have 14-inch slotted rotors and four-piston calipers, and the rear brakes have 12-inch rotors clamped by two-piston calipers. Weight is kept down (just over 2,822 pounds) through the use of aluminum doors, hatchback, hood and a carbon fiber roof.

Sadly, American enthusiasts won’t be invited to this particular party. In fact, the Mazda-based Yaris is departing the U.S. entirely for the 2021 model year. While Toyota has been dropping hints that we’ll get a GR variant of the larger Corolla compact here in the States, the company has not yet committed to specs, a timeline, or really anything else that might give us a clear picture of what to expect. We’re not even certain the GR Corolla will get all-wheel drive, thanks to contradictory rumors


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