By Stewart Smith on 2017-03-08 - Stewart was the former motoring editor of the Coventry Telegraph and is now a freelance contributor to Eurekar. He is based in Scotland and specialises in First Drive reviews.
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TOYOTA heralds a serious return to the performance hatch market with the world debut of the new Yaris GRMN at the Geneva Motor Show.
The Yaris GRMN is a full-blooded and highly tuned car, inspired and influenced by Toyota's return to the FIA World Rally Championship in 2017 with Toyota Gazoo Racing and the Yaris WRC after a 17-year break from the competition.
GRMN stands for Gazoo Racing tuned by Meister of Nurburgring and was created in honor of Hiromu Naruse, Toyota's chief test driver who died in June 2010 in a LFA test car.
The motorsport influence in the new model is evident with features such as a special paint finish - white with red and black flash detailing on the bonnet and sills - echoing the livery of Toyota's WRC car.
Toyota called on its European teams to design the Yaris GRMN and develop its engine and interior, while all production will be handled by Toyota Motor Manufacturing France at its plant in Valenciennes.
The Yaris GRMN is powered by a 1.8-litre supercharged engine which will produce more than 205bhp. The suspension has been tuned through testing on the NÃ¼rburgring's Nordschleife circuit and benefits from significant input from Toyota Gazoo Racing's motorsport activities.
It features a Torsen limited-slip differential for better traction and handling. The car is also equipped with high performance brakes with large, ventilated discs and four-pot front callipers.
The Yaris GRMN is available only in three-door form, sits on 17-inch multi-spoke alloys and is fitted with a special black wing-type rear spoiler.
Although GRMN models have previously been sold in Japan, the newYaris GRMN will be the first to be marketed in Europe and will be on sale from early 2018.
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