Toyota's mildly hot Yaris has new shocks, a stiffer anti-roll bar, and stickier tires.
[UPDATE, October 2] Live images from the 2018 Paris Motor Show have been added at the beginning of the gallery, below.
For Europeans who missed out on the limited-edition Toyota Yaris GRMN hot hatch, the Japanese automaker has now unveiled the new Yaris GR Sport. It doesn't have the same level of performance as the full GRMN, but the vehicle still gives buyers a more exciting experience than the standard car. The five-door debuts at the Paris Motor Show on October 2 and goes on sale in Europe in late 2018.
The GR Sport trim is supposed to be a step down from the full-bore GRMN vehicles. In this case, Toyota puts much of the mechanical focus on improving the suspension. The upgraded parts include Sachs Performance shocks and a solid, more rigid anti-roll bar that replaces the standard hollow piece. The result of these tweaks is a 0.43-inch (11-millimeter) decrease in ground clearance over a stock Yaris.
Toyota matches the sporty suspension modifications with more aggressive aesthetics. The Yaris GR Sport rides on black 17-inch wheels, and sporty Bridgestone Potenza RE50 tires cover them. The body features a black roof an rear spoiler. For a matching touch, piano black trim adorns the door moldings, grille, mirror caps, fog light surrounds, and interior details of the headlights. For a pop of color, buyers can add optional red decals to the front lip and top section of the rear bumper.
On the inside, the Yaris GR Sport has moderately bolstered sport seats in a combination of black and white Ultrasuede. A black headliner and satin chrome trim improve the look. The three-spoke steering wheel comes straight out of the Toyota 86.
Unlike the GRMN's three-door layout and 1.8-liter supercharged four-cylinder, the GR Sport is exclusively available in a five-door body and a 1.5-liter hybrid four-cylinder engine.
Gallery: Toyota Yaris GR Sport at the Paris Motor Show
WORLD DEBUT OF THE NEW TOYOTA YARIS GR SPORT WITH GAZOO RACING-INSPIRED PERFORMANCE
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 on 2 October 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 proved an instant sales success.
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 11mm compared to the standard Yaris, and with the gap between wheel and body brought down by 18mm.
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 Yaris’s standard 1.5-litre hybrid electric powertrain.
The exterior styling follows that of the Yaris GRMN, including a black bi-tone roof with 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.