The Toyota GR Yaris is one of those cars Americans are already expecting to import in 25 years. You see, one of Toyota’s nastiest vehicles isn’t available in the United States. Toyota built the skipped Yaris, which shares nothing with the Yaris available here, to homologate its WRC race car. The car’s racing pedigree is fully on display in a new YouTube video that shows the compact hatch setting an impressive lap time on the Nurburgring.
The GR Yaris counts among its contemporaries the 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupé and the 2016 Honda Civic Type R with the Toyota lap time of 8 minutes and 14.93 seconds. We are a long way from the fastest laps on the track, which can see times dropping well below the six-minute mark. The hatch also embraces its electronically limited top speed of 230 kilometers per hour (143 miles per hour) on the track.
The GR Yaris is a pretty crazy machine once you get past the colloquial name. The car has a Frankenstein chassis of several different Toyota platforms, all-wheel drive and a powerful three-cylinder turbocharged engine. The 1.6-liter engine produces 257 horsepower (192 kilowatts) and torque of 265 pound-feet (360 Newton-meters) sent to a six-speed manual transmission. The car uses lightweight materials like forged carbon fiber and aluminum, with the hatch weighing 1,822 pounds (1,280 kilograms).
Whether you’re stocking up on Nürburgring lap times, the iconic race track is a proving ground for automakers and enthusiasts alike. The circuit is an established standard capable of measuring one thing very well: the speed of cars around the Nürburgring. It provides a level playing field that puts cars through an arduous physics test. The Toyota GR Yaris isn’t close to being the fastest on the track, but that doesn’t make its lap times any less impressive for the compact hot-hatch.