Every Toyota GR Yaris tested on track: Which one is best?

May 31, 2024 by

Mat is in Japan at the newly opened Shimoyama proving ground to put six different versions of the Toyota GR Yaris to the test. Each Yaris will be timed along a short handling circuit driven by endurance racer and GR development driver Masahiro Sasaki. They will also be driven along a 5km long road course that has been designed to put a car through the same stresses that it would experience over a lap of the 22km long Nurburgring. Then, of course, there is the obligatory 0-62mph sprint because even a track-prepped car needs to be quick off the mark.

To familiarise himself with these little pocket rockets and set a baseline, Mat goes out in the original GR Yaris first. Released in 2020, the powerful 1.6-litre three-cylinder turbo, fitted with a trick switchable AWD system, limited-slip differentials front and rear, and, of course, a six-speed manual transmission, is still an impressive package.

Next up is the Yaris GRMN, short for Gazoo Racing Meister of the Nurburgring. This one is a Japan-only special edition with just 500 units made. Carbon-fibre body panels, deleted rear seats to save weight, and a stiffened chassis were just some of the detail upgrades for the Meister over the standard GR Yaris. The torque figure was bumped up by 20nm to 390nm, but power remained the same at 280hp. All 500 were instantly sold despite a £70,000 price tag.

The second-generation GR Yaris is next in line. Performance is boosted to 300hp and 400nm respectively for Japanese models, while the GRMN’s body stiffening and other upgrades have been carried over to the new car. A new eight-speed auto is now also available, and Mat sampled both versions. Along with these improvements comes a new price tag of £44,250 in the UK for the Circuit Pack edition. That’s a steep increase of over £10,000 compared to the old car. Is it worth it? You’ll have to watch the video to find out.

Finally, Mat tests two extremely rare special edition models. The first is the Sébastien Ogier edition, named after the eight-time World Rally Championship winner. Aside from some unique trim items, the only other change is a tweak to the AWD track mode that makes it more rear-biased, activated by pressing a ‘PUSH SEB’ button.

The final model is the Kalle Rovanperä edition. Instantly recognisable by a vivid three-colour paint job. The carbon-fibre rear wing is from the GRMN Yaris, and there is now a Donut mode for the AWD system. You will want to see this in action. Just 200 of both special edition models will be built, each costing £60,000.

Which one of these models is the quickest around a track? Click on the video to find out.

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