When Toyota teased its GR GT3 concept and "hardcore" GR Yaris last week, it certainly caught our attention. Of the two, the GRMN Yaris is the star of the show, and not just because it's the one you can actually buy. Technically speaking, only 500 people will buy one, but it's still something you might see in public. Especially if you find yourself at race tracks or rally stages.
First off, here's what you absolutely need to know. As you'd expect, the GRMN Yaris is leaner, stiffer, and sharper, but surprisingly, not more powerful. Its overachieving 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine still belts out the same 268 bhp (200 kilowatts) available in the Japan-spec model, with the GRMN Yaris will be. Upgrades instead focus on weight reduction, unibody stiffening, shorter gearing, and aesthetic tweaks to make sure nobody mistakes this car for a normal hatchback. That is, unless you opt for the Circuit Package, which we'll talk more about in a bit.
Gallery: Toyota GR GT3 Concept And GRMN Yaris
What exactly are these changes? Toyota says the GRMN Yaris is 20 kilograms (44 pounds) lighter while also having stronger rigidity in the body. Carbon fibre is used for the bonnet, roof, and rear spoiler, and the rear seat is removed as well. For strength, there are 565 more spot welds compared to the GR Yaris. The GRMN version is also approximately a half-inch wider, a half-inch lower, and it features a six-speed manual with closer gear ratios. A mechanical limited-slip differential is also in the mix.
That's what you get with the standard GRMN Yaris. For those seeking a bit more action, the Circuit Package upgrades the suspension with adjustable Bilstein shocks, adds bigger brakes, includes special 18-inch wheels, and punches up the exterior with side skirts and a lip spoiler. However, only 50 of these packages will be offered for sale. Compare that to the Rally Package, which Toyota lists as a dealer-installed choice for any GRMN Yaris. It includes a GR shock absorber and short stabiliser link set, a GR under guard set, and a GR roll bar.
Toyota will also offer at least some of the GMRN Yaris upgrades separately to GR Yaris owners in the fall. As for the GRMN edition, reservations are open now through a lottery system since only 500 are available. Deliveries begin in the summer; prices start at ¥7,317,000, which equals approximately £46,600.