Entertaining City Car Wears The Guise Of Its Powerful Brother

The new Toyota Yaris GR Sport was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show and it showed its finely built body, GRMN-tuned suspension and courageous face that looks for trouble. Limited edition Toyota Yaris GRMN was met with great enthusiasm from the car community, but that was just a highly limited car. The Yaris GR Sport isn’t. It also isn’t as special as the Yaris GRMN.

Not Exactly A Super-Powerful City Car

The Toyota Yaris GR Sport Cruises into Paris with Updated Looks and Revised Hardware
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The 1.8-liter engine that made the Yaris GRMN isn’t included in this package. Instead, Toyota exclusively equipped the Yaris GR Sport with a 1.5-liter ICE and an electric motor.

Yes, this is a hybrid and it develops rather disappointing 99 horsepower. Just like a normal Yaris Hybrid then. Instead of focusing their efforts on increasing the power, Toyota and the GRMN team aimed to improve the suspension. Reading about this car, one cannot help but imagine that something like this can be done using aftermarket parts.

The GR Sport trim will get you Sachs Performance shocks, a stiffer anti-roll bar, and 17-inch wheels with 205/45 R17 Bridgestone Potenza RE50 tires, the same as on the Yaris GRMN.

While these additions don’t sound plentiful, they do, however, tweak the little Yaris in the right way.

The new model is 0.43 inches lower compared with the stock version. Furthermore, it is far stiffer and more precise. Sure, Toyota should have done even more for the suspension, but I guess this will be a really affordable way to get into spirited car driving.

The Cabin Received More TLC Than The Exterior

The Toyota Yaris GR Sport Cruises into Paris with Updated Looks and Revised Hardware
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Luckily, the Toyota Yaris GR Sport looks the business. Its 17-inch wheels are important for a makeover, but I think the black roof, massive rear spoiler, piano black trim all around the car (but especially around the lights), as well as the new grille transform this thing into a fun city dweller. Red decals can be fitted on the front, and the rear windows are tinted as standard.

However, I can see that the interior received much more TLC than the exterior.

GR branding can be found throughout, especially on the seats and on the displays.

The graphic on the digital display is different compared to what one may find in the standard Yaris. GR logo dominates it. As one of the nicest touches, the Yaris GR Sport comes with the same Toyota Yaris GRMN steering wheel. It is a three-spoke unit that’s smaller compared with the standard unit in another car. Even the carpets are new in the cabin.


The Toyota Yaris GR Sport Cruises into Paris with Updated Looks and Revised Hardware
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Although lacking the main ingredients of the Yaris GRMN and sporting a propulsion system that has less than half the power of the limited-edition model, the Yaris GR Sport feels like a neatly finished city car. It takes the small, nifty Yaris and tries to make it a bit tougher on the eyes and angrier in the heart. Presented at the Paris Motor Show, it clearly demonstrates Toyota’s commitment to making its cars far more entertaining than ever before. This fun, raspy and happy Yaris GR Sport is just that - entertaining.

Further Reading

2015 Toyota Yaris - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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Read our driven review on the 2015 Toyota Yaris.

Safet Satara
About the author

Inspired by the exclusive Yaris GRMN performance hatchback, the new Yaris GR SPORT is set to bring more sports driving pleasure to Toyota’s supermini range. Due to go on sale from late 2018, the new model makes its world debut at the Paris Motor Show and will be the first GR SPORT specification car to be launched in Europe.

The introduction of the GR SPORT grade is a further example of how the international motorsports success of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing is feeding directly into an exciting new generation of GR-branded road-going cars. Toyota’s return to the World Rally Championship in 2017 led to the development of the performance-focused Yaris GRMN, which won high critical acclaim and was a sell-out success with all 400 examples snapped up by customers before the car reached the showroom.

The new GR SPORT takes the GAZOO Racing sporting influence to the heart of the Yaris range, delivering genuine fun-to-drive performance and sports styling. The GRMN-inspired modifications are focused on the suspension, giving the car engaging handling and responsiveness. It uses Sachs Performance shock absorbers similar to those fitted to the GRMN and a solid (rather than hollow) anti-roll bar to gain extra rigidity. The car has a sporting stance, too, with ground clearance reduced by 11 mm compared to the standard Yaris, and with the gap between wheel and body brought down by 18 mm.

The black 17-inch cast alloy wheels are exclusive to the GR SPORT, but are fitted with the same Bridgestone Potenza RE50 205/45R17 tyres as the GRMN model. Care has been taken to limit the increase in vehicle mass to less than 5kg by restricting the model’s feature options.

The GR SPORT is exclusively a five-door and will be available with the Yaris’ standard 1.5-litre hybrid electric powertrain.

The exterior styling follows that of the Yaris GRMN, including a black bi-tone roof with shark fin antenna and rear spoiler. There are piano black door mouldings, a black honeycomb grille, black door mirror housings and black front fog light surrounds. The headlights are unique to the GR SPORT, with black interior detailing. Dark-tinted rear privacy glass is also fitted as standard, together with GR badging. Red decals can be added to the front lip and the top line of the lower rear bumper to generate extra sporty visual appeal.

In the cabin the GR influence is highly visible, with GR-branded sports front seats, upholstered in black Ultrasuede with contrast white stitching and white inserts. When the driver presses the start button, the multi-information TFT display comes to life with the GR logo, setting the tone for a rewarding drive in store. To help make the most of the car’s handling potential, the GR SPORT is equipped with the same small-diameter three-spoke steering wheel as the GT86 coupe.

The sporting feel of the interior is enhanced by a black headlining and satin chrome trim for the gear shift lever and the air vent and door-mounted audio speaker surrounds. As a finishing touch, black GR-branded carpet mats with silver edging are fitted.

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