But will it make its way to these United States?
Toyota showed what it could do with the Yaris hatchback when it introduced the GRMN hot hatch. But with all 400 examples long since spoken for, it remains out of reach for most of us. This, then, could be the next best thing.
Set to bow at the Paris show next month, the Yaris GR Sport looks much like the GRMN version but doesn't pack the same punch. Instead it's powered by the standard European-spec 1.5-liter hybrid powertrain, producing 100 horsepower and 82 lb-ft of torque (which is less than the 106 hp and 103 lb-ft offered in the US version).
A hot hatch, then, this is not.. but it's not bone-stock, either. The GR Sport model boasts an upgraded suspension with Sachs Performance shocks and solid anti-roll bar, riding half an inch closer to the road. The unique 17-inch alloys are shod with the same Bridgestone Potenza RE50 tires as the Yaris GRMN, trimmed in black to match the roof, spoiler, door moldings, honeycomb grille, door mirrors, and fog lights. It also comes with tinted windows and an interior upgraded with ultrasuede-trimmed sports seats, satin chrome accents, and the steering wheel from the 86 (plus the requisite special branding inside and out).
Along with the GR Sport version, Toyota is also marking two decades of the Yaris with a special Y20 edition decked out in two-tone gold and dark grey. It also features 16-inch wheels and a checker-pattern interior, among other upgrades. Only 1,998 examples will be offered in Europe, representative of the year in which the Yaris was launched. But we're naturally more intrigued by the sportier model.
The question is whether Toyota will offer it (or something similar) in the US market. Here's hoping it does and gives it a bit more oomph to bridge the gap between the standard model and the 205-horse GRMN performance model.