2024 marks the fourth year of Toyota GR Yaris production. No, seriously, it’s been that long. Despite there being no need for it to exist, with the WRC homologation rules it was created for being scrapped, the spritely little hot hatch has been a hit for the Japanese manufacturer, and there’s no shortage of demand. Now, it’s decided to give the model a fairly big mid-life refresh.
The headline change is an increase in power from the original GR Yaris’ 268bhp in JDM spec, with the turbocharged 1.6-litre three-cylinder now outputting 300bhp – matching that of the GR Corolla. European cars will see that dip to 276bhp, mind you, thanks to stricter emissions regulations.
Though a six-speed manual gearbox remains, you’ll now be able to opt for Toyota’s much-anticipated DAT automatic as well. The eight-speed torque converter ‘box is promised to be “optimized for sporty driving” as well as “realizing gear selection that reflects the driver’s intentions and, thus, leading to gear selection that is similar to how professional drivers shift gears.” We’re keen to see how that works in reality.
Design changes have been made as well, largely with function in mind. Most obvious are a set of gigantic new intakes up front, designed to improve cooling. A redesigned undertray is said to improve aero, while a simple aesthetic difference comes in the form of a lower LED strip added to the tail lights, giving a near-seamless lightbar effect.
Added to the options list is a “Cooling package,” which will see an intercooler sprayer system added with motorsports use in mind – much like that available on the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Subaru Impreza WRX STI in days gone by.
Toyota hasn’t left the chassis itself untouched, either. There are now three bolts attaching each shock absorber, as opposed to one on the original car, with the intention of improving responsiveness. Spot welding points have been increased by 13 percent, with a 24 percent increase in the number of areas where structural adhesive has been used, all in the name of rigidity.
A fairly overhauled cabin features now, with an all-digital driver’s display implemented, plus a relocation of the infotainment system – now housed within a new surround – titled 15 degrees toward the driver for ease of use. Talk about details.
There is no word on the UK pricing or availability of the updated Toyota GR Yaris just yet. We’d assume a rise in the £29,995 starting for the outgoing car – provided you are able to get one. That said, Toyota has said the car will now feature as a permanent fixture in the Yaris line-up as long as emissions regulations allow for it to be built, so this new version may prove easier to get a hold of.