Toyota GR Yaris: Modified prototype spotted at the Nurburgring

As Toyota prepares to give its new GR Yaris hot hatch a UK dynamic debut at this weekend’s Goodwood Speedweek, a mysterious modified prototype has been spotted lapping the Nürburgring. 

The 257bhp, four-wheel-drive supermini is already marked out from the standard Yaris by its three-door-only bodyshell, lower roofline and performance-oriented addenda including flared arches, bigger air intakes and wider track. This latest prototype appears to up the ante with motorsport-style front winglets, new air vents behind the front wheels and a significantly larger rear wing. 

A Toyota spokesperson was unable to say whether the marque is developing a performance upgrade package for its second GR model or an uprated, limited-run range-topper. Sources suggest, however, that it could be a motorsport-focussed aerodynamics testing mule.

The GR Yaris is already available with two trim packages: Convenience, which comes as standard with luxuries including active noise control and keyless entry, and the Circuit Pack, which adds a pair of limited-slip differentials, stickier tyres and a more handling-focused suspension tune. 

It is also possible that Toyota is testing the driveline, chassis set-up or aero package for its new GR Yaris-based WRC racer, which will replace the current Yaris-based car for the 2021 season. 

Deliveries of the standard GR Yaris are set to get under way next month, following a scheduled appearance at the new Goodwood Speedweek event with Toyota WRC driver Elfyn Evans behind the wheel. The Welsh driver will take to the Sussex site’s dedicated rally stage to showcase the 4WD hot hatch’s capabilities.