Born to be wild

It prom­ises to be the ul­ti­mate pocket rocket – but can the Toy­ota Yaris GRMN de­liver? Ryan Hirons heads to Barcelona to find out.

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Kentmotors -

Cre­ated in 2015 to en­com­pass its global rac­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, Toy­ota’s mo­tor­sport arm, is now also re­spon­si­ble for some high­per­for­mance ver­sions of the Ja­panese man­u­fac­turer’s ve­hi­cles – and the Yaris GRMN is the first to make it to Europe.

Take one look the Yaris GRMN and you in­stantly know you’re deal­ing with a very dif­fer­ent an­i­mal to the stan­dard car, though. Easy-to-spot vis­ual changes in­clude the ad­di­tion of more ag­gres­sive-look­ing body­work, a cen­tre-mounted ex­haust, 17-inch BBS forged al­loy wheels, a rear spoiler and an eye-catch­ing de­cal set. Un­der­neath the fairly recog­nis­able body is a setup also un­like any­thing else in the

Yaris range. From the 1.8-litre su­per­charged en­gine, to the Torsen dif­fer­en­tial, mod­i­fied sus­pen­sion and larger brakes, there are a lot of new me­chan­i­cal fea­tures for the name­plate.

The Yaris GRMN’S wild looks and raspy ex­haust note don’t quite match the driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence en­tirely, but it’s still an ex­tremely ca­pa­ble and quick ma­chine. De­spite its city car ori­gins, this isn’t a ve­hi­cle built for the town. Sure, it still has the space and vis­i­bil­ity you would ex­pect from a three-door hatch, but it’s loud, harsh-rid­ing and gulps fuel in no time. In its own right, the Yaris GRMN is a fan­tas­tic and very ca­pa­ble per­for­mance ma­chine with an end­less abil­ity to put a smile on your face. You’d have to se­ri­ously de­sire the GRMN over any­thing else to snub its ri­vals, but should you do that, you’ll have one of the most ca­pa­ble machines to come from Toy­ota in a long time.

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