What’s More Awesome Than a Toyota GR Yaris? A GRMN Yaris

It’s safe to say that the Toyota GR Yaris has firmly established itself as a global enthusiast favorite. And that just makes it more infuriating for US hot hatch fans, because it’s not available here. So, we also don’t get to enjoy the spicier versions, such as the ones UK tuner Litchfield has touched up. But even those with regular GR Yaris access will be feeling some envy today over the new, factory-modified Toyota GRMN Yaris.

Gazoo Racing makes the Toyota GR Yaris even more of a road-legal rally car

A gray 2022 Toyota GRMN Yaris Circuit Package next to a red one with the Rally Package
2022 Toyota GRMN Yaris Circuit (left) and Rally Packages | Toyota

As with the GR Supra and GR86, the ‘GR’ part of the GR Yaris’s name stands for ‘Gazoo Racing,’ Toyota’s in-house tuner and racing division. It’s sort of like AMG, but for Toyota. And just like AMG has its one-step-up Black Series, Gazoo has its own pumped-up trim: GRMN. It stands for ‘Gazoo Racing tuned by the Meister of Nurburgring,’ and the GR Yaris is the latest Toyota to get treated.

Interestingly, there was a Toyota GRMN Yaris several years before the GR Yaris slid into the spotlight. But that was a FWD, supercharged hot hatch, sort of like a Fiesta ST on steroids. The new 2022 Toyota GRMN Yaris is more than a few steps beyond that. And it takes the GR Yaris, which is essentially a homologation rally car already, even closer to its origins. That’s not hyperbole, BTW: the development team got notes from professional racers, including Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda himself.

The 2022 Toyota GRMN Yaris still rocks the standard 257-hp 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine and six-speed manual. However, because it has a carbon-fiber hood and no rear seats, it weighs 44 lbs less than the regular GR Yaris. The lack of rear seats also means more space for the rear strut-tower brace, one of several ways Toyota stiffened the chassis even further. And in addition to reinforcing the chassis, Toyota also strength-treated the GRMN Yaris’s transmission and gave it a lower axle ratio for better acceleration.

It doesn’t matter where you want to race, the 2022 Toyota GRMN Yaris has you covered

The rear strut-tower brace and Recaro seats in a gray 2022 Toyota GRMN Yaris Circuit Package
2022 Toyota GRMN Yaris Circuit Package interior | Toyota

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In Rallye form, the GR Yaris has two Torsen limited-slip differentials. The Toyota GRMN Yaris, meanwhile, comes standard with two mechanical LSDs. And if buyers need some extra racing-specific features, Toyota has two helpful packages.

With the Rally Package, the Toyota GRMN Yaris gets a GR roll bar, some extra underbody protection, as well as GR shock and suspension tweaks. In contrast, the Circuit Package’s adjustable Bilstein shocks lower the hot hatch by 0.4”, while its side skirts and lightweight 18” BBS wheels add 0.4” in width. This package also adds 18” brakes, a lip spoiler, and a CFRP rear spoiler.

Furthermore, the Toyota GRMN Yaris launches with two owner services, the Update Program and the Personalization Program. The first gives owners access to rolling part and software updates that Gazoo Racing puts out, The Drive explains. And the second provides customization options based on racing circuit data. Basically, if a GRMN Yaris owner wants to dial in the suspension, aerodynamics, or even the steering setup for a particular track or driving style, Toyota will help them out.

You’ll have to win a Japanese lottery to get a Toyota GRMN Yaris

The rear 3/4 view of a gray 2022 Toyota GRMN Yaris Circuit Package
2022 Toyota GRMN Yaris Circuit Package rear 3/4 | Toyota

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As jealous as US enthusiasts are about overseas Toyota GR Yaris owners, those same owners will likely be just as envious of GRMN Yaris buyers.

For one, Toyota is only making 500 examples. And two, it’s a Japan-only hot hatch that will be distributed via a lottery. It’s also not exactly cheap. It costs the equivalent of $64,000 in Japan, and the Packages add at least $9000 to that. In comparison, a regular GR Yaris is slightly less than $36K, The Drive notes.

However, there is some good news of GR Yaris owners—and potentially for the US market, too.

Will Gazoo’s upgrades make it to the US-market Toyota GR Corolla hot hatch?

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While Toyota says GRMN Yaris shipments will start sometime after spring 2022, the company also says it plans to offer some GRMN parts for GR Yaris owners. These parts will supposedly release in fall 2022, The Drive reports.

OK, but where does the US come into this? Well, we know that a Toyota GR Corolla is coming here. And based on recent teasers, it will likely have the Yaris’s AWD system and three-cylinder engine. Thus, at least some of the GRMN parts could theoretically fit the GR Corolla, too.

And who knows, maybe if our hot hatch sells well enough, maybe Toyota will make a GRMN version for the US.

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