Yaris gets a €23,000 hot hatch hybrid model

GR Sport model arrives alongside Y20 edition celebrating 20 years of Toyota’s Yaris

Toyota Ireland has confirmed that its Yars GR Sport will cost from €23,750, and you can order one now for 191 delivery

Toyota Ireland has confirmed that its Yars GR Sport will cost from €23,750, and you can order one now for 191 delivery

a
 

Toyota Ireland has confirmed that its Yars GR Sport will cost from €23,750, and you can order one now for 191 delivery. The GR Sport model is a hugely significant car for Toyota, and it will be a litmus test of whether car-nut Toyota boss Akio Toyoda is hitting the right notes with enthusiasts, as he plans to make Toyota a more emotional, appealing brand.

The big question is - will hot hatch aficionados take to the Yaris GR Sport’s hybrid powertrain? That’s the same 1.5-litre petrol engine, plus batteries, plus electric motor, that you’ll find in the regular Yaris Hybrid. Will 99hp and all the fuel economy you could reasonably ask for prove a big enough draw for fast hatch fans?

It just might, because Toyota is encouraging them to look past the engine, and concentrate on the chassis. There they will find many of the same components as used on the entirely insane Yaris GRMN hot hatch, which was made in a tiny batch of 400 very-limited editions, earlier this year. GRMN stands for Gazoo Racing - Masters of the Nurburgring, and Gazoo Racing is Toyota’s racing and tuning arm, akin to Mercedes’ AMG or Ford’s RS.

The GRMN version of the Yaris was a thinly-disguised racing car, with a screaming 1.8-litre supercharged engine and a chassis that made it feel like a 1990s Touring Car. The GR Sport is the beneficiary of all this, getting the same suspension dampers (made by German specialists Sachs), the same 17-inch forged alloy wheels, and the same grippy Bridgestone Potenza RE50 205/45R17 tyres. So while it won’t have a screamer of an engine, it should go round corners pretty rapidly.

Inside, there are high-backed, suede-wrapped bucket seats and the steering wheel from a GT86 sports car. Prices start from €23,700, and you can order one now.

Toyota is also introducing a €19,740 ‘Y20’ birthday edition
Toyota is also introducing a €19,740 ‘Y20’ birthday edition

At the same time, Toyota is also introducing a €19,740 ‘Y20’ birthday edition. The original first-generation Yaris (only the second-ever Japanese car to win European Car Of The Year) was introduced in late 1998, with the first proper sales in 1999. The Y20 celebration model comes in the same, distinctive, gold metallic paint as that original model used, with the added attraction of a contrast grey roof. Inside, there’s more upmarket trim, and a new infotainment system, which claims improved smartphone connectivity. That will also be available on the rest of the Yaris range.

a