It set a decent lap time considering its power output.
The Toyota GR Yaris has already done much to convince us that it's one of the most capable and exciting hot hatches on the planet right now. Buoyed by its all-wheel-drive system, it has already conquered the great Honda Civic Type R in a drag race and shown that it can keep up with far more powerful sports cars on the track.
We now have confirmation of how quickly the little Toyota can scoot around the demanding Nurburgring track. A good time here would cement the car's status as a modern Toyota great. Well, consider it job done. It also helps that the video of the Yaris being thrashed is a joy to watch with the skilled Christian Gebhardt behind the wheel.
Using Race Navigator gear, the Toyota GR Yaris registered a lap time of eight minutes and 14.93 seconds, hitting a top speed of 143 mph along the way. This is a respectable time for the GR Yaris, although it falls short of the Honda Civic Type R's remarkable time of seven minutes and 43.8 seconds set back in 2017.
Then again, the Yaris is down on power. Its 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine produces 268 horsepower in JDM spec or 257 hp for the European version, whereas the Civic Type R makes 306 hp from its own 2.0-liter turbo-four. Notably, the GR Yaris was quicker than the previous-gen Civic Type R, the older BMW 1 Series M Coupe, and the 2009 Porsche Cayman S around the famous circuit. All of these vehicles are more powerful than the GR Yaris.
Lap times aside, the GR Yaris has been engineered to be as fun to drive as possible. A big part of this is the use of a six-speed manual gearbox, its compact size, and a light weight of well under 3,000 pounds. A handy 4WD dial allows drivers to easily switch between driving modes and alter the front/rear torque distribution.
For overseas GR Yaris customers - the hatch sadly won't be sold here - the aftermarket has begun responding with tuning kits that hike power up to nearly Civic Type R levels. With over 200 lbs less weight to lug around than the base Type R, a tuned GR Yaris should be an absolute hoot.