Toyota has successfully returned to the World Rally Championship. Not to let this achievement to pass without doing something special about it, Toyota is set to debut a high-performance, racing-oriented Yaris hatch dubbed the 2018 Toyota Yaris GRMN Hot Hatch. It becomes the first global model in the automaker’s Gazoo Racing Masters of Nurburgring (GRMN) performance division. It is not clear if the model will be shipped to the U.S.; I hope it does. This model will strengthen Toyota’s performance credibility of its road-going cars. Read along for more information:
2018 Toyota Yaris GRMN Hot Hatch Exterior
Details about the 2018 Toyota Yaris GRMN Hot Hatch are still a closely kept secret. The automaker has only released a few rendering of the hatch from which we can get a rough idea of what the hatch is all about. From the renderings, the front fascia looks very aggressive. Compared to the regular Yaris, the 2018 Toyota Yaris GRMN Hot Hatch has a revised snout that protrudes slightly unlike the case on regular Yaris models. It also has a trapezoid-shaped grille that is bigger than that of the regular models. The grille has honeycomb mesh that makes the front look sportier. Modified headlights flank the grille. Fog lights cut out have also been revised. The hood has a small badge, an uncommon feature for such cars as the Yaris. The lower bumper and the hood appear to have red and black racing stripes which make the front fascia look sportier.
The flaks are mostly characterized by red and black decals. Other features are similar to that of the regular models. However, the GRMN rides on double 6-spoke wheels.
More changes are found at the rear where the new hatch features larger taillights that stretch way into the trunk-lid. The tailgate has a huge trapezoid-shaped recess that is identical to the front grille. The rear bumper, on the other hand, features a diffuser-like element. Finally, the rear features center-mounted exhaust tips integrated into the bumper as well as fake air vents on each side of the exhaust tips. A black wing mounted on top of the tailgate enhances the model’s race-inspired stance.
2018 Toyota Yaris GRMN Hot Hatch Interior
As of this writing, there has been no information about the 2018 Toyota Yaris GRMN Hot Hatch cabin. I think the styling will largely be based on the current Yaris models. Expect a clean dash devoid of numerous control buttons and knobs, a revised infotainment display screen and a revised steering wheel compared to the standard Yaris models.
As far as upholstery is concerned, I expect the hot hatch to feature quality materials and soft surfaces. Expect the model to feature sport front seats with enhanced bolstering. The automaker will release details of the cabin and other departments when the model makes its debut at the 2017 Geneva Auto show.
Engine and performance
The small hatch is equipped with a capable mill to back its claim as a performance-oriented hatch. You won’t believe that the small hatch is equipped with a supercharged 1.8 L, 4-cylinder powerplant. The engine produces 207 hp. The 2018 Toyota Yaris GRMN Hot Hatch will be the only model in the segment to use a supercharged engine. Toyota has not announced the transmission system that the engine will use but it is safe to assume the automaker will offer both an automatic and manual system.
Although Toyota has not released information about the model’s performance, the hatch is expected to complete the 0-60 mph run in around 6.0 seconds and attain a maximum speed of 150 mph. The awesome engine will be complimented with a unique suspension, tweaked chassis and bigger brakes.
Price and release date
Toyota is still keeping pricing information of the Yaris GRMN Hot Hatch” under lock and key” as of this writing. However, considering the model will be the “top dog” of the Yaris lineup, expect it to be the most expensive. Currently, the most expensive regular Yaris has a £18,315, ($22,700) price tag. The new hatch may have a starting price of around $25,000. We will see the model at the 2017 Geneva Auto show starting on March 7. I understand Toyota has already entered the hatch in the GRMN performance division, so expect to see the hatch in many races later this year.
The 2018 Toyota Yaris GRMN Hot Hatch will encounter stiff competition from other excellent hot hatches in this segment. They include the likes of Ford Fiesta ST and Volkswagen Polo GTI.