Toyota Yaris GRMN 2018 UK review

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Toyota Yaris GRMN

The Toyota Yaris GRMN is a hot version of the supermini, tuned by the firm’s Gazoo Racing division

Can a supercharged 209bhp engine, a Torsen differential and a host of other changes turn the Yaris into a true Mini Cooper S Works 210 rival?

Incongruity: with silent cars from Jaguar, £240,000 ‘coupés’ from Range Rover and sports utility vehicles from Ferrari (even if it won’t actually call it an SUV), in 2018, we’re immersed in it.But none of those things is perhaps quite so improbable as a Toyota supermini that not only packs 209bhp but also puts it to the Tarmac through a Torsen differential with the help of (passive) dampers from Sachs.That last pair of assets is very much what you might expect of a full-bore, full-sized hot hatch and not something that, in its most basic form, costs a whisker under thirteen grand.The car is garrulously known as the Toyota Yaris Gazoo Racing Meisters of Nürburgring (or Toyota Yaris GRMN), with Gazoo Racing being the in-house division that plays keeper to the rally-winning Yaris WRC.It’s likely the first of several Europe-bound GRMN specials, and despite a narrow appeal, owing to its £26,295 asking price, very nearly all 80 UK examples are already spoken for.   We’ve driven the car abroad already, so know that this supercharged 1.8-litre 2ZR-FE engine – built in Deeside by Toyota, modified by Lotus and then united with its steed in Valenciennes on the Franco-Belgian border – is an engine of addictive character.Here, it’s tasted for the first time on British roads, which have a reputation for making or breaking the dreams of hot hatch marketeers. We also have a full road test in the works – this will be appearing in the magazine in due course.