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Toyota's Already Weighing A More Hardcore Hot Hatch

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And the new GR Yaris hasn't even been revealed yet.

We wouldn't go so far as to say that automakers tend to take things one step at a time. Not industrial powerhouses like Toyota, anyway, which always have a number of things cooking at any given time. But you'd think that a manufacturer would wait until it's brought the new product to market – a performance model especially – before entertaining notions of an even more powerful and focused version. That does not appear to be the case, however, with Toyota's new hot hatch.

With the debut of the new GR Yaris still looming, rumors are already surfacing of an even more hardcore version to follow.

Toyota
Toyota
Toyota

At a preview-drive event for the upcoming hot hatch, Australia's Motoring website asked the GR Yaris' chief engineer Naohiko Saito if Gazoo Racing could do a more focused GRMN version (like it did with the last one). "In the future, maybe we can," answered Saito-san, adding that such a vehicle was "under consideration."

Another unnamed "insider working closely with Gazoo Racing" confirmed that the GRMN Yaris would (naturally) both increase output and trim weight from the GR Yaris. Saito also revealed that his team completed a feasibility study for a full carbon-fiber body for the GR Yaris, opening the door to speculation that more carbon components could be used on the prospective GRMN version.

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Toyota
Toyota
Toyota
Toyota

As it is, the GR Yaris is slated to employ a 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that – in prototype form at least – delivers over 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. However much muscle the final version produces, it'll be channeled to all four wheels through a six-speed manual transmission, with aluminum and some carbon-fiber components helping keep weight down to around 2,600 pounds.

That's already a fair bit lighter and more potent than the three-door version of the latest Ford Fiesta ST, which boasts "only" 197 hp and 214 lb-ft, and weighs nearly 2,800 lbs, despite doing without the inherent weight of the Toyota's all-wheel drive system.

Toyota
Toyota
Toyota

For reference, Toyota produced a GRMN version of the previous Yaris, which packed a 1.8-liter supercharged inline-four good for 209 hp and 184 lb-ft, channeled to the front wheels alone through a six-speed manual. At 2,500 lbs, it weighed less than the new all-wheel-drive GR Yaris, but with more muscle and traction, you can bet the new model will run circles around it. And a new GRMN Yaris would stand to be that much faster. That is, if Toyota decides to build one – for our market or any other. Let's ask nicely and see what happens.

Toyota
Toyota
Toyota
Toyota

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