The Toyota Yaris Cross GR Sport is a new variant of the little crossover that's launching in Japan. More than just a styling tweaks, the company gives this vehicle a stiffer body and a revised suspension.

The Yaris Cross GR Sport features extra bracing in the center of the underbody and at the rear. Toyota says this provides improved steering stability and less body roll.

Gallery: Yaris Cross GR Sport

The revised suspension lowers the ride height by 0.39 inches (10 millimeters). The company also tweaks the tuning for the springs, shocks, and electric power steering. The Yaris Cross GR Sport rides on 18-inch Falken FK510 tires.

With the hybrid powertrain, the Yaris Cross GR Sport has an upgraded powertrain controller that provides an improved accelerator pedal response.

Toyota also tweaks the small crossover's styling by adding mesh grilles to the front and rear. The brake calipers get a coat of red paint, and the model rides on 10-spoke wheels.

Inside, the Yaris Cross GR Sport gets special front seats that are a mix of the material Air Nubuck and synthetic leather. There's a leather-wrapped, three-spoke steering wheel with the GR logo on it. The front portion of the center console has dark gray metallic paint. The shift knob has a leather covering. The pedals get aluminum covers.

The GR Sport is available with a pair of 1.5-liter three-cylinder engines. One version makes 118 horsepower (88 kilowatts) and a hybrid variant of this mill has 90 hp (67 kW). While the Yaris Cross is available with all-wheel drive, this model only comes with a front-drive layout.

The Yaris Cross GR Sport goes on sale in Japan in August. Prices for the combustion-only model start at ¥2,367,000 ($17,166 at current exchange rates), which includes the country's consumption tax. The hybrid goes for ¥2,750,000 ($19,940).

The GR Sport joins the Adventure trim after its introduction last year. That model put an emphasis on making the vehicle appear more rugged by adding a revised front fascia and rear bumper protection plate.

Got a tip for us? Email: