The GR Yaris has worked wonders for Toyota’s standing in the performance car community, and the word from Japan is that a comprehensive round of updates is on the way to help maintain its cult status.
It’s now three years since the little hot hatch was launched, so it seems entirely logical that Toyota would want to give the baby GR a mid-life facelift for 2024. But Japanese magazine Best Car says a mild visual makeover isn’t all that the GR team has planned. It reports that there’ll be more power and a two-pedal transmission option for the first time.
The GR Yaris currently makes between 257-268 hp (261-272 PS) depending on the market and the different emissions regulations there, but Best Car’s sources claim the GR’s engine will be upgraded to match the power output of America’s GR Corolla. That uses the same basic 1.6-liter three-cylinder motor but is rated at 300 hp (304 PS).
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If the Yaris does get the Corolla’s engine there should be no change in torque output. Both the 300 hp Corolla and 268 hp-tune Yaris make the same 273 lb-ft (370 Nm), though the special edition GRMN Yaris lightweight, which was limited to 500 units, got a 15 lb-ft (20 Nm) boost to 288 lb-ft (390 Nm), without claiming any additional horses.
A six-speed manual has been the only transmission available in the GR Yaris since launch, but Best Car says the facelifted model will get an eight-speed automatic option. And if that happens you can bet that it won’t be long before the very same hardware finds its way onto the Corolla GR’s configurator.
Best Car claims the 2024 model’s visual changes will mostly be limited to tweaked bumpers, but does say that a large roof spoiler will help mark out the new car. And on the inside the Yaris will ditch its existing analog dials for a digital gauge cluster like the one on the GR Corolla. The report says production of the new GR begins in early 2024, but we can expect Toyota to unveil the refreshed hot hatch and start taking orders in the next couple of months.