All of the videos, reviews, and general information points to the Toyota GR Yaris being a very impressive hot hatch. If you want even more evidence that this model is a very sweet piece of forbidden for American fans, then watch this video of the spicy vehicle setting a bridge-to-gantry lap time around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in a very impressive time of less than eight minutes.
Just to clarify, a bridge-to-gantry run is not a full lap of the Nordschleife. During the tourist driving times, vehicles enter and exit along the Döttinger Höhe straight, and drivers wanting to do another run have to get off the circuit and get in the queue to go around again. This makes timing a complete lap impossible.
Gallery: 2020 Toyota GR Yaris
Instead, Nordschleife drivers have come up with the bridge-to-gantry time. The clock starts at the bridge over the Antoniusbuche section of the 'Ring and ends at a gantry that generally carries an advertising banner for various companies over the Döttinger Höhe straight. The result is a lap that measures 11.9 miles (19.1 kilometers), rather than a complete circuit's 12.944 miles (20.83 kilometers).
The GR Yaris driver is running around the circuit in far from ideal conditions. It's a foggy day, and the temperature is just 43 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celcius). In the vehicle's favor, there aren't many other cars on the track during this run, so the pilot is able to push the Toyota without worrying about what other drivers are doing. The final time is 7 minutes 56.8 seconds.
The European-spec GR Yaris packs a 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder that makes 257 horsepower (192 kilowatts) and 266 pound-feet (360 Newton-meters) of torque. A six-speed manual sends the power to a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system with two Torsen limited-slip differentials.
Spy shots suggest that Toyota might have an even hotter version of the GR Yaris under development that might be the GRMN variant. It features canards at the front corners, big air outlets behind the front wheels, and a massive rear wing.