The rally-spec hot hatch has been hunting M2s at the Nurburgring.
It really is a shame that the Toyota GR Yaris probably won't be coming to America. The little hatchback punches well above its weight, having seen off the challenge of the more powerful Honda Civic Type R in a drag race to start the year. Unveiled with a 268-horsepower three-cylinder turbocharged engine in January 2020, it has captivated the motoring fraternity ever since. To prove that it's got more gumption than its size would have you believe, the GR Yaris was recently filmed on the Nurburgring chasing something a lot more powerful and expensive: the BMW M2 Competition.
Just as the GR Yaris has been hailed as one of Toyota's most exciting new cars, the same is true for the junior M car. However, the two are a world apart. The BMW is a rear-wheel-drive coupe and the GR Yaris is an all-wheel-drive hatchback. The Bimmer has precisely double the number of cylinders and produces 405 hp and 406 lb-ft from its 3.0-liter turbocharged engine. Both cars, however, have manual gearboxes. You'd think, then, that the Yaris would be left far behind on a track. But the little hatch is such a nifty handler that it made up ground through the corners, with the M2 only really showing its hefty power advantage on the straights.
This particular GR Yaris had a stock engine, although it did have the Performance Pack along with sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. The driver admitted that both he and his friend (the driver of the M2) didn't know the track that well, so both could have gone even quicker if they were more familiar with it. Still, the AWD Yaris is a seriously impressive piece of kit based on this video, which goes some way towards explaining its high starting price of around $37,000. This is likely one of the reasons that it would be a tough sell in North America, but if the video does anything, it proves what we'll be missing out on.