More hardcore Toyota GR Yaris hot hatch on the way?

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Words: Matthew Hansen
16 Oct 2020

One of the most anticipated cars of the year is Toyota’s upcoming return to the hot hatch game; the Gazoo Racing Yaris.

As NZ Autocar recently reported, the 200kW/360Nm four-wheel drive homologation special is almost sold out in New Zealand, with a huge order of 1000 reportedly sold out over the ditch, too.

But, those thinking it could be the be all and end all of the nameplate may have to reconsider. That’s because a decidedly racier version of the GR Yaris has been spotted by spy photographers testing at the illustrious Nurburgring Nordschleife.

On top of a range of testing apparatus, the pocket hatch features a comprehensive aero update. Large canards sit on the flanks of the front bar, complemented by a huge triangular vent behind each front wheel. There’s also a two-element rear spoiler, made up of a whale-tail-like lip and a big splitter over the top.

There’s a few subtle things to glean from the images, too. The black roof could be indicative of a carbon-fibre panel. And the model looks to feature stiffened and lowered suspension, too.

Of course, there’s another possibility here too. The aero-tweaked GR Yaris could also represent a race-car in the making. Toyota are noted for facilitating single-make race series with their own machinery, and the GR Yaris would make for an interesting platform to base a championship on.

Nevertheless, should this turn out to be a production vehicle it will further distance the GR Yaris from the rest of the hot hatch segment. As it stands, the standard model is set to occupy uncharted territory with its unique pricing, sizing, power, and drivetrain format relative to the rest of the segment.

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