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RACE READY (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
The Yaris GRMN hot hatch shows Toyota's extreme side. Jonathan Crouch takes a look...
Ten Second Reviewword count: 36
Ever wondered what a Toyota Yaris might be like with over 200 braked horses beneath the bonnet? No, we hadn't either. But Toyota has made one anyway, this wild Yaris GRMN. It's a rather unique confection....
Backgroundword count: 119
First of all, let's deal with that rather awkward name: 'GRMN' stands for 'Gazoo Racing Meisters of N??rburgring', Gazoo Racing being the in-house division that looks after Toyota's rally-winning Yaris World Championship Rally-winning racer. This the first GRMN model to be launched in Europe - and its being built in Europe too, at Toyota Motor Manufacturing France's Valenciennes plant. Production has been successfully integrated into the same assembly line as the standard Yaris, with each GRMN car put together by a dedicated team comprising the factory's most experienced technicians. This model's limited production - just 400 examples are being produced for European customers - should add an extra dimension of exclusivity to its appeal as a truly performance-focused car.
Driving Experienceword count: 241
Forget everything you know about a Toyota Yaris: it isn't relevant here. This one packs 209bhp (yes really) and directs it to the tarmac via a Torsen differential (a feature rare among B-segment hot hatches) and a set of passive dampers supplied by Sachs. The engine is a supercharged 1.8-litre 2ZR-FE unit, built in Deeside by Toyota, then modified by Lotus and sent to the Yaris factory in Valenciennes in France for installation into this car. The car comes with a wide set of 205-section tyres that hugely broaden the turning circle. Large, ventilated front disc brakes with four-piston callipers supplied by ADVICS provide powerful, controllable stopping performance. The steering rack has been sharpened up, but not much has been done to the suspension, which uses much the same torsion beam set-up as a regular Yaris. The exhaust though, has been fully reworked, a task that had to be achieved within very tight space limitations, and with careful attention to underbody heat management. The goals were to reduce exhaust back pressure and control emissions and noise levels, while also introducing a centre tailpipe design at the rear of the car - a feature shared with the Yaris WRC competition car. Performance is very much of the 'in your face' variety in the raucous way it's delivered. For reference, the figures see the 62mph benchmark flash by in 6.4s on the way to 143mph; in a Yaris. Whoever would have thought it....
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Category: Sporting Cars
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