Big wing and lightweight rims suggest an even quicker version of the GR might be inbound…
By Sam Sheehan / Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Toyota performance machines are like buses. Ages without anything to write home about, then in what seems like quick succession we get the Fiesta ST-rivalling Yaris GRMN, a new Supra and most recently, the Yaris GR. And apparently there’s more in the pipeline, if fresh spy pics from the Nurburgring are anything to go by. Just this week a GR has been caught wearing bigger aerodynamic addenda, new wheels and quite possibly a carbon fibre roof.
Is Toyota working on an even more extreme version of its already fairly hardcore Yaris GR, a car which, let’s not forget, already has 260hp, all-wheel drive and a bespoke platform? Official UK sources have suggested to us that no more versions are due this year – but that doesn't mean that the manufacturer has finished tinkering with its latest performance car. Not when interest in the GR has been off the scale, and track-hardened variants of already mightily fast hot hatches are currently all the rage. And especially when there's a fair chance that a Yaris might win the WRC.
A big, fixed rear wing is always a good way to hammer home your sporting credentials, as are a set of lightweight forged rims, large brake discs and – if the black roof is covering what we think it is – a lightweight carbon fibre top, all of which adorn the test car. It all points to a heightened level of performance, albeit only via chassis mods. The 1.6-litre motor is, of course, rather potent for a unit of its capacity already – it also has 265lb ft of torque – and the driveline, with its adjustable torque split, is complex from the off.
It's possible, of course, that we’re not looking at a new Yaris GR variant but rather a car bearing further optional upgrades to be offered with the ‘standard’ machine – which would be familiar territory for Toyota, given the zealous nature of the aftermarket in Japan.
The prospect of being able to turn up the wick on the standard model is obviously an appealing one. By the looks of it, it would be beyond the level already achieved by the optional Circuit Pack, which gets two limited slip diffs and stickier Michelin boots among other upgrades.
Whatever is in the pipeline, it's an additional reason that we hardly need to get excited about Toyota’s upcoming hot hatch – and don't forget, it’s not even actually arrived on roads yet. Suffice it to say, after a long hiatus from the world of enthusiast-worthy machinery, Toyota really does look to be back. And then some.
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