You’ll either love or hate the Toyota Yaris GRMN, but we should come right out and let you know that you aren’t going to be able to own one, unless you’re one of the few lucky enough to snap up one of only 80 bound for the UK. In fact, most countries allotted one of the 400 models sold them up within 72 hours of order books opening.
Okay, great – so what is the Toyota Yaris GRMN?
To answer that question, you need to know that GRMN apparently stands for ‘Gazoo Racing tuned by the Meister of Nürburgring’. If you’re into your motorsports, it’s a good bet you’ve come across the Gazoo Racing name before. Once an in-house racing team operated by Toyota, it now competes in both the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the World Rally Championship (WRC).
So, the Toyota Yaris GRMN is clearly a serious hot hatch. Does it hit the mark?
If you’re interested in the Toyota Yaris GRMN, it’s not because you want heated seats or the latest tech – this is a model focused closely on performance. Fitted with a supercharger, it puts out plenty of horses and torque, but you need to maintain constant vigilance if you really want to make the most of what this new Yaris can offer.
That means working the six-speed manual gearbox hard to keep hitting the sweet spot. Of course, this is a slick-shifting and precise system that really seems designed for rapid and seamless shifting, and performance represents the kind of labour of love prized by those drivers who know what GRMN stands for without being told.
And it’s not at all slow off the line, although it’s certainly not the fastest hot hatch we’ve come across. With a 0-60mph time of 6.4 seconds, it’s no slouch. That said, the GRMN can’t completely escape its Yaris roots, and that means it feels noticeably top heavy despite the cutting-edge tuning and stiffening.
As for the interior, don’t expect to be amazed. There’s plenty of dark, dull plastic that seems at odds with a relatively hefty £26,295 starting price, but that kind of goes hand-in-hand with the performance-focused drive. With Alcantara bucket seats and GT86-derived steering wheel, you’ll certainly feel comfortably in command, and there’s always a cool 7-inch Toyota Touch 2 infotainment system available with satellite navigation, Bluetooth, DAB radio, and USB smartphone connectivity.