The Toyota GR Yaris is undeniably a blazing little number on the tarmac, but it might be a little too much to expect the same thrills from its more mainstream derivatives. While the GR moniker promises near-motorsport levels of performance, the relatively mundane GR Sport manages the equivalent of an automotive cosplay by comparison.
The European version of Toyota's Yaris GR Sport uses the same TNGA-B architecture as the GR Yaris
Case in point: Toyota recently launched the Yaris GR Sport in Indonesia, based on the XP150 series marketed in our country. That particular edition brings a full body kit, GR Sport branding, and not much else, retaining the engine and drivetrain of the standard model. Things are a little different in Europe, where the carmaker unveiled another Yaris GR Sport.
Apart from the two additional doors, the European version hews much closer to the performance-oriented GR Yaris, as both models use the XP210 series as the base. While there are still no changes to the powertrain, the dressed-up Euro Yaris benefits from slightly more substantial tweaks.
A new T-shaped diffuser reflects the dress-up hatchback's sporty aspirations
But first, what does this Yaris GR Sport bring to the table in terms of looks? An exclusive Dynamic Grey hue, accompanied by a bi-tone treatment with black accents. The fascia presents a mesh-backed grille wearing the GR badge. There’s a new T-shaped diffuser to evoke athleticism, along with custom 18-inch wheels featuring red accent line segments.
The GR branding motif extends into the cabin, with the seat headrests, engine start button, and instrument panel all peppered with the motorsport division’s logo. Touch points such as the door trim and center console feature gunmetal silver finishing, a GR Sport exclusive. Available Ultrasuede heated seats carry red stitching that’s echoed on the steering wheel and gearshift lever.
All that buildup leads to a somewhat anticlimactic conclusion, as the Yaris GR Sport still relies on the same 1.5-liter engine as the stock version, offered either in standard or hybrid guise. The former comes with an Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT), while the makes do with a continuously variable transmission.
Save for the GR branding and different interior trim, the cabin is the same as on the standard XP210 Yaris
Some consolation can at least be found. The front shock absorbers are now optimized for increased responsiveness at lower speeds, while the rear springs control wheel lift under acceleration and braking. Updates have been introduced to the power steering mechanism to reduce steering input delay and enhance steering feel, while the Yaris GR Sport’s chassis has been braced to increase rigidity and stability.
The Toyota Yaris GR Sport is expected to hit European showrooms by the first quarter of 2022, with no pricing information available yet. For those who feel they’re not quite ready yet for the GR Yaris Philippines, this might be a more tepid (but no less tempting) alternative.
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Know more about Toyota GR Yaris 2023
The Toyota GR Yaris Philippines is a subcompact hatchback belonging to the hot hatch or sports compact category. It is offered in the Philippines with one variant only which is priced at Php 2,650,000. Powering this Japanese hot hatch is a 1.6-liter G16E-GTS turbocharged inline-3 gasoline engine that is capable of generating 257 horsepower and 360 Nm of torque, making it the most powerful commercially available three-cylinder engine to date. Only a 6-speed manual is the sole transmission option with an all-wheel-drive system.
Dimensions-wise, the GR Yaris comes with a length of 3,995 mm, a width of 1,805 mm, and a height of 1,455 mm, including ground clearance and wheelbase rated at 124 mm and 2,560 mm, respectively. Locally, Gazoo Racing's hot hatch is competing against the Honda Civic Type R.
Joseph Paolo Estabillo