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Vancouver Auto Chat 2016 VAC Community Head Moderator: Raid3n

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Old 03-08-2017, 06:48 AM   #1
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Toyota Yaris GRMN - Supercharged hot hatch to rival Fiesta ST



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Toyota’s first hot hatchback in a decade has been inspired by Toyota’s 2017 WRC car, and has been developed by Gazoo Racing, the team behind both the WRC campaign and the firm’s WEC efforts. It makes its debut at the 2017 Geneva motor show today.



Toyota has taken a slightly different path to its rivals with the launch of the Yaris GRMN. Instead of the typical 1.6-litre turbocharged powerplant, Gazoo has developed a 1.8-litre four-cylinder using supercharging for its forced induction.

The company quotes a power output of “over 205bhp”, and Toyota has chosen to send that power to the front wheels (there’s no WRC-style all-wheel drive, sadly) through a six-speed manual transmission. While the power output is similar to its rivals, the Japanese firm suggests both the 0-62mph time and its 50-75mph sprinting ability in fourth gear are both best-in class.

That implies a 0-62mph time of at least 6.4 seconds - perhaps as little as 6.2 if Toyota is including the more powerful Mini John Cooper Works as a rival - and strong mid-range performance.



Hot hatchbacks live and die by their handling however, and with the standard Yaris offering far from class-leading abilities in this regard, Gazoo Racing will have its work cut out. The signs are promising: The Yaris GRMN gets additional chassis bracing and reinforcements to firm up its shell, including a front suspension tower brace. There are also shorter, stiffer springs for a lower ride height, Sachs-developed dampers and a thicker front anti-roll bar.



The setup has been tuned at the Nurburgring - GRMN stands for Gazoo Racing Masters of Nurburgring, an arena in which the team has competed for many years - and a Torsen limited-slip differential is used to keep the front wheels in check. Larger diameter ventilated discs and four-pot front calipers are used to halt proceedings.



Styling too is an area where the regular Yaris needs work, particularly given the GRMN is based on a newly, and slightly awkwardly facelifted version of the hatch, also making its debut at Geneva.

Supplied in three-door form only, the GRMN gets a set of 17-inch BBS multi-spoke alloy wheels wrapped in 205/45 R17 Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tyres. Both front and rear bumpers are of a new design and at the rear there’s a diffuser element with a centre-exit exhaust pipe.



There are changes inside too, including a set of bewinged Gazoo Racing-branded adjustable bucket seats, a small-diameter steering wheel snatched straight from the GT86 sports car (a car, incidentally, now looking slightly under-powered and under-tyred against the Yaris GRMN) and the obligatory aluminium-faced pedals and aluminium gearknob.

The GRMN is Toyota's first hot hatchback since the Corolla T-Sport disappeared in 2007 - and the first dedicated performance Yaris since the Yaris T-Sport went off sale in 2005. As well as obvious rivals such as the Ford Fiesta ST - soon to be sold with only three cylinders - and Peugeot 208 GTi, the Yaris should also compete with another WRC-inspired hot hatch due soon - Hyundai's i20 N Performance, a car evo learned of at the Paris motor show.

The Toyota Yaris GRMN is on display at the Geneva Motor Show, sitting alongside the i-TRIL Concept – an electrically-powered, three seater vehicle with ‘Active Lean’ technology. Also on display is a full lineup of Toyota Gazoo Racing’s 2017 competition cars.













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Old 03-08-2017, 09:45 AM   #2
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will all of them have to have those awful hood and door decals?
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Old 03-08-2017, 10:05 AM   #3
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Looks like ass. Needs the WRC widebody. It's great that they are considering this, but will come to North America...

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Old 03-08-2017, 12:56 PM   #4
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It'd be nice if the WRC brought back the homologation rules that gave us road cars that looked more like the race cars.

I hope this does well, then maybe an AWD version will be made, and then maybe we could get it in North America. I assume it'll be very expensive, but then my GTFour RC was expensive when it was new too.
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Old 03-08-2017, 01:02 PM   #5
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i would be happy just to have WRC again on tv like back in the days of speedvision
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Old 03-08-2017, 05:27 PM   #6
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I like Toyota, but I highly I doubt that a hopped up Yaris could even come close to being a rival for the Fiesta ST or Abarth

Last edited by MrPhreak; 08-20-2017 at 02:46 PM.
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