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2021 Toyota GR Yaris: Hotter version spied testing

Ahh, what do we have here? Does this Toyota GR Yaris spotted at the Nürburgring presage an even more powerful or potentially lighter model?

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The hot little 2021 Toyota GR Yaris isn’t even in showrooms yet but it looks like there’s an even hotter version on the way – hotter, even, than the GR Yaris Rallye.

Our spy photographers captured this GR Yaris testing at the Nürburgring.

Exterior changes include a larger rear wing and prominent vents on the front fenders. The test vehicle also appears to be sitting lower.

It’s possible this is a prototype of a Yaris that’s more powerful or lighter than the GR Yaris, or possibly both.

The GR Yaris already uses the world’s most powerful production three-cylinder engine, a 1.5-litre with 200kW of power and 370Nm of torque, mated to an all-wheel drive system.

It weighs just 1280kg thanks to extensive use of carbon-fibre polymer and aluminium for its sheetmetal.

There are still weight savings to be had, however. Toyota could follow the likes of Volkswagen, with its Golf GTI Clubsport S, and remove the rear seats, reduce the amount of insulation, shrink the battery and even toss the floor mats.

In the meantime, those seeking an even more dynamic drive than the GR Yaris can opt for the GR Yaris Rallye.

Just 250 examples of the Rallye will come here next year. Over the regular GR Yaris, it adds a sportier suspension tune, locking front and rear differentials, and 18-inch forged BBS alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres.

Toyota hasn’t confirmed local pricing. The regular GR Yaris is priced at $49,500 before on-road costs, though the first 1000 buyers were able to get it for a whopping $10,000 less thanks to a sharp introductory drive-away offer from Toyota.

An additional 100 were subsequently offered at $44,950 drive-away.

Why the bargain drive-away price? Toyota Australia says it’s using the GR Yaris as an “investment” in the Gazoo Racing brand, giving enthusiasts a chance to experience what Toyota Australia vice president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley describes as a “performance thoroughbred”.

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William Stopford
William Stopford

William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel (remember that?), briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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