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Toyota's performance future detailed: GR Yaris chief engineer spills on incoming sports cars

There are more GR products coming - and now we know what will power them

We already know that Toyota is planning a range-wide performance attack, with several sporty models to follow the fire-breathing GR Yaris. And now we know what will power them, thanks to the Yaris' chief engineer Naohiko Saito.

The GR Yaris is powered by a 1.6-litre, turbocharged three-cylinder engine, which Toyota promises will make more than 185kW and 350Nm. It's also an all-new engine build currently bespoke the little Yaris hot hatch. Well, for now...

According to Naohiko Saito, it would be "wasting time" for that engine to only be used in one model.

"It’s wasting time to use a four-wheel drive system and this 1.6-litre engine (for one car). Personally, I’d like to use this powertrain for each of the other (GR) models," he told CarsGuide at the launch of the GR Yaris in Portugal.

While unconfirmed, the next GR model is expected to be the C-HR, but Toyota hasn't ruled out giving any of the models in its lineup a performance makeover, with the exception of the current-generation HiLux.

"I don’t want the HiLux," says Mr Saito.

It means Toyota's quirky hatch-cum-SUV could soon be sporting a screaming three-pot engine, transforming it into a proper high-riding performance car, and it will be followed by other performance vairants, including the Corolla.

As reported previously, Toyota is planning on offering three distinct levels of sportiness in Australia. GR Sport-badged cars will be restricted to cosmetic upgrades, while GR cars will offer more performance than their regular counterparts. Finally, GRMN badge will be reserved for the brand’s most hotted-up models.