Browse over 9,000 car reviews

The hottest Toyota hatch yet! 2022 Toyota GRMN Yaris puts frighteners on new Subaru WRX with unrelenting track focus - but will it come to Australia?

The GRMN Yaris takes the already-hot GR Yaris to the next level.

Toyota’s emerging GR performance sub-brand has fired another huge shot at the hot-hatch segment with its reveal of the new GRMN Yaris flagship.

Based on the in-demand GR Yaris, the GRMN Yaris takes performance to the next level with several mechanical changes, including a 20Nm increase in torque for the 1.6-litre turbo-petrol three-cylinder engine, now producing 390Nm (at 3000-4600rpm) alongside the same 200kW of power (at 6500rpm).

With a revised close-ratio six-speed manual transmission exclusively sending drive to all four wheels via Toyota’s permanent GR-Four system with front and rear mechanical limited-slip differentials, the GRMN Yaris saves about 20kg thanks to the removal of the rear seats and multimedia system.

Carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) also plays a part in the reduced weight, with it now used for the vented bonnet, in addition to the carryover roof panel. And it can be optionally extended to the rear wing spoiler via the Circuit Package.

The factory option also includes a unique front lip spoiler, 18-inch BBS alloy wheels and brakes, adjustable Bilstein shock absorbers and bespoke side skirts.

Meanwhile, the Rally Package is a dealer-fit option, with it bundling in GR versions of the shock absorbers, short stabiliser links, under-guards and roll bars (with a side bar).

But what comes standard in the GRMN Yaris? Well, there’s full Recaro bucket seats and an additional 545 spot welds and 12m of structural adhesive, which combine to deliver an unspecified increase in body rigidity.

Vehicle width has also been increased for improved aerodynamics, while a 10mm reduction in height has helped to lower the centre of gravity. Needless to say, improved acceleration and handling are assured.

Now, the bad news: the GRMN Yaris isn’t coming to Australia. A Toyota spokesperson told CarsGuide: “Toyota Australia is aware of local consumers’ strong appetite for high-performance vehicles and particularly hatches, and will continue to bring as many exciting new products to our market as possible.”

Yep, the Subaru WRX-rivalling GRMN Yaris is currently only available in Japan, with just 500 examples up for grabs, of which only 50 are of the Circuit Package variety.

The closest Australian buyers will, therefore, get is the ‘regular’ GR Yaris in standard ($49,500 plus on-road costs) and Rallye ($54,500) forms, although strong demand but limited supply means they’re hard to come by.