But it should drive well, in theory.
Ahead of the Paris motorshow, Japanese carmaker Toyota has pulled the wraps off its Yaris GR-Sport, a sort of halfway-point between the vanilla Yaris and the full-fat Yaris GRMN (which is exclusive to Japan, Germany, and France). The GR-Sport variant does introduce a raft of suspension revisions that improve driver involvement, but unfortunately, doesn’t bring more firepower to the table.
In fact, the powertrain of the Yaris GR-Sport is not only familiar, but it’s also rather dour. The Yaris GR-Sport utilises the 1.5-litre direct-injection petrol engine mated to an electric motor, with the whole system putting out a combined 74kW of power. That power is sent exclusively to the front wheels via a CVT automatic gearbox.
It’s not all bad news though: Under the skin and moving away from the engine, you’ll find things like dampers from Sachs Performance, as well as a solid anti-roll bar that improves overall rigidity. The Yaris GR-Sport also sits lower than its vanilla brethren, with ground clearance reduced by 11mm over the standard car. It also rides on 17-inch alloys in black, with relatively high-performance Bridgestone Potenza tyres in Europe.
Those alloys are part of an overall aesthetic that’s been inspired by the proper Yaris GRMN, which includes revised bumpers on either end, a rear spoiler, and a gloss-black finish for the roof, grille, door mirrors, and body mouldings. And inside, the GR-Sport gains the grippier, chunkier steering wheel from the 86 sports car, as well as sports seats with GR branding. In fact, that GR branding even goes as far as the instrument cluster.
Prices have yet to be confirmed for the European market, and there’s little mention of the Yaris GR-Sport coming to Australia. With the small car segment shrinking, it’s unlikely that we’ll see this model slated for arrival; Perhaps if interest is strong enough, Toyota Australia would be forced to take a longer, harder look at it for market introduction. Annoyingly though, speculated European pricing is slated to be above even the brilliant Ford Fiesta ST which then begs the question: Do we even want it anyway?