Toyota’s hot Yaris hits 212hp

Frankfurt Motor Show: Audi and Toyota bring traditional hot rods to the show, while Subaru plays it safe

Hot new Toyota Yaris

Hot new Toyota Yaris


While there is, of course, much talk of electro-mobility and autonomous robot cars around the Frankfurt show halls, the ideal of traditional, dinosaur-burning fun hasn't quite yet been forgotten.

Toyota has, at long last, revealed the tech stats for its Yaris GMRN hot hatch, the first truly high-performance Yaris and a car which is intended to underline the connection between Toyota’s world rally team and its road cars.

The GMRN (it stands for Gazoo Racing Masters of the Nurburgring — a mouthful, but a legendary appellation in Japanese fast car circles) gets a 1.8-litre supercharged engine developing a maximum 212hp, and 250Nm of torque. That all goes to the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox and a limited-slip differential.

Toyota estimates the GMRN’s 0-100kmh time at 6.3secs, and it’ll have a limited top speed of 230kmh. The whole car weighs just 1,100kg — impressively light for something with this much grunt, and allowing Toyota to claim that the Yaris will have the best power-to-weight ratio in its class. It rides on suspension 24mm lower than standard, gets beefier anti-roll bars, and specail dampers made, bespoke, for the car by Sachs. 275mm brake discs nestling behind 17-inch alloy wheels keep everything under control.

It won’t be cheap, though. Toyota is talking about a European price of €29,000 which would suggest that a Yaris GMRN could actually cost as much as a VW Golf GTI when it arrives here. That said, only 400 will be made, so perhaps no-one’s too bothered about the price.

Audi is also returning to its high performance roots with the launch art Frankfurt of the new RS4 Avant. The hot estate gets the same 450hp twin-turbo V6 engine as the RS5 coupe, and can sprint from 0-100kmh in just 4.1secs. Top speed is normally 250kmh, but Autobahnstormers can have that raised to 280kmh by going for the RS Dynamic Pack.

Audi claims that thanks to being lighter by 80kg than the old RS4, the new one can average 32mpg and emits a not-disastrous 199g/km of Co2. Ceramic brakes are an option, as is a new RS Dynamic steering system – possibly a tacit admission by Audi of too many previous RS models having steering that was too dull.

Doubtless there will, eventually, be a hot, turbocharged version of the new Subaru Impreza, but for now the new hatchback has made its Frankfurt show debut with a relatively low-key reveal. Riding on an all-new platform, the new Impreza will make its debut with a 1.6-litre, 114hp flat-four petrol engine, or a 156hp 2.0-litre flat-four petrol. No mention is currently being made of Subaru’s long-serving 2.0-litre flat-four diesel, and it’s possible that the Impreza might be a diesel-free zone as Subaru is known to be working on a hybrid system.

It will incorporate Subaru’s camera-based EyeSight emergency braking system, as well as adaptive cruise control and lane keeping systems, the first signs of partially autonomous driving in the Subaru range.