Yaris GRMN: a forensic parts examination

We know that the new Toyota Yaris GRMN is a very special hot hatch. Its GRMN badge is a sign of the special efforts that have been invested in this project, standing for Gazoo Racing tuned by the Meister of the Nürburgring. But how is that evidenced in the collection of motorsport-inspired components fitted to the car as standard?

In this post we take a deep dive analysis and look at specific examples of how the Yaris GRMN is inspired by motorsport yet engineered for the road.

Yaris GRMN: supercharger

The function of a supercharger is to substantially increase the power output of an internal combustion engine. In the majority of instances, the supercharger achieves this by force-feeding the engine with air that has been compressed and accelerated between two rotors spinning at speeds of over 20,000rpm. As a result, the volume and density of this air is much greater than the engine would normally process through unassisted breathing, otherwise known as natural aspiration.

The new Yaris GRMN adopts a proven Magnusson Eaton rotor-type supercharger to help its 1.8-litre Dual VVT-i engine reliably generate almost 50% more power that it would normally achieve. Running at 1.8 bar boost pressure for optimal efficiency, and allied to a specially uprated fuel system, the headline power figures are 209bhp at 6,800rpm and 250Nm of torque at 4,800rpm. Of greater importance on the road, however, is the fact that more than 220Nm of torque is available from 3,000rpm all the way to the redline.

The beauty of supercharging is the instant availability of torque at any engine speed and a power delivery that is linear to throttle inputs. As the supercharger is driven by the crank via the V-belt, its rotors are always spinning and the engine is always ‘on boost’, so there is no yawning lag before torque arrives.

However, compressing the air generates friction, which in turn creates heat. So before the compressed air is fed into the engine it is cooled by a small radiator, known as an intercooler. As you can see in the above image (pre-production prototype shown), this intercooler is integrated into the same compact alloy housing as the supercharger – a neat packaging solution for the engine bay of this super supermini.

Yaris GRMN: exhaust

Considering the intake and processing measures explained above, further modifications had to be applied to efficiently evacuate the resulting exhaust gases. While it was not necessary to alter the engine’s original exhaust manifold for this application, the team in charge of the rest of the Yaris GRMN exhaust was targeted with developing a WRC-inspired system that improved the flow rate and delivered a 60% reduction in back pressure.

Although space was at a premium, the entire system – including the catalytic converter – was restructured: the pipework diameter was enlarged, bend radiuses were increased, and the routing simplified. The result is a lightweight, steel exhaust that not only resembles a WRC-style system but is specially tuned to sound like one as well. It culminates in a centre-exit tailpipe that looks like a poised cobra behind a trapezoid frame in the rear bumper.

Yaris GRMN: forged alloy wheels

Most new cars roll on alloy wheels these days. But whereas the vast majority are cast designs, the Yaris GRMN is the only vehicle in its segment to be equipped with forged alloys.

As the name suggests, a cast alloy wheel is formed by pouring molten alloy into a cast, or mould, whereas a forged alloy wheel is carved from a solid alloy billet. The latter is a much more expensive product, but this difference in the method of manufacturing has a huge impact on the weight and strength of the resulting wheel.

Cast wheels are usually heavier and have a more random molecular composition because the grain flow alters as the molten alloy is forced to conform to the shape of the mould. In order to achieve the same structural integrity, a forged wheel will often be around 25% lighter and can be up to three times more impact resilient. This is because its grain structure is tight, uniform and interlocking, while the very nature of the original forging process means that a wheel carved from a solid billet will not contain inconsistencies such as air cavities or oxidation.

The forged alloy wheels featured on the Yaris GRMN are produced by renowned German wheel manufacturer BBS. They measure 17 inches in diameter and seven inches across, with a 48mm offset that is marginally more aggressive than the value applied to the rest of the Yaris range. Due to their forged construction, each wheel is 1.5kg lighter than an equivalent cast counterpart – a 6.0kg saving from the wheels alone.

Interestingly, reducing the vehicle’s unsprung weight (mass that is not supported by the suspension) improves steering feel and precision and ride quality. It also enhances overall acceleration and braking because less energy is wasted rotating the wheels. In the case of the Yaris GRMN, it is equivalent to saving many multiples of 6.0kg elsewhere on the car. Little wonder the car offers the best power-to-weight ratio in its class.

Yaris GRMN: brakes

With such a bold presence behind the spokes, it is not possible to talk about the Yaris GRMN’s wheels without mentioning its brakes. Painted in Toyota Gazoo Racing competition colours, the front brake package is unique to the vehicle and is produced by Japanese supplier ADVICS, while the rear brake set-up – the caliper is also painted white but without the logo – is shared with the 1.5-litre Yaris model to provide a perfectly balanced dynamic.

You will notice that as well as being ventilated to help dissipate heat, the 275x25mm front discs also feature grooves that gently arc across the face of the disc. As the discs rotate, the grooves act like a wiper, constantly de-glazing the surface of the brake pads and evacuating any residual dust so the pads and discs can make clean contact.

That contact is made even more confidence-inspiring by the inclusion of four-piston calipers. This multiple piston configuration ensures that pressure is applied more evenly across the whole of the brake pad, thereby balancing wear and ensuring full contact is made for maximum braking efficiency.

Yaris GRMN: suspension

The Yaris GRMN retains the familiar MacPherson strut (front) and torsion beam (rear) suspension set-up as the rest of the range. However, its specific components were specially tuned by a select group of specialists working both around the legendary Nürburgring race circuit and within its immediate neighbourhood.

The dampers were developed with the assistance of Sachs Performance engineers and are produced by the German company. Although their twin-tube construction is the same as the mass production model, the valves and internal structure have been tuned for track days and hard road use. Partnering the shock absorbers are specially tuned springs that feature more tightly wound coils to deliver a 30mm drop in ride height and increased rates of 34.6Nm (front) and 34.2Nm (rear). Meanwhile, cornering attitude between both sides of the car is levelled through the use of a thick 26mm anti-roll bar across the front axle.

Yaris GRMN: seats

The thoroughness of this car’s development is additionally evidenced in the highly supportive, reclining front seats. Specifically developed and made by Toyota Boshoku (the same subsidiary that produced the outstanding seats for the Lexus LFA supercar), the seats were tuned at the Nürburgring at the same time as the car’s chassis in order that the padding strength and bolsters would perfectly complement the suspension.

While supportive enough for occasional track use, the seat rails, base frames and tilting mechanisms are shared with other Yaris models, so the day-to-day functionality and range of movement within the seats remains unaffected.

Learn more: The untold story of our new hot hatch


  1. Nice information.

    I do have to say that the Toyota ‘skunkworks’ team should also look at an enhanced Yaris hybrid. It could be retrofitted to older cars as a simple software upgrade that allows greater use of the electric motor during full acceleration. The maximum torque of a standard Hybrid is mostly better than the GRMN and so could be faster over the 0-60mph stakes if the electric motor is programmed to continue to give power (at the moment it gradually backs off after a few seconds of full power).

    I will volunteer my car for testing!

    1. Hi Mike,
      Thank you for your comment. We’ve passed your comments on to our product team so keep an eye on our blog and our Facebook and Twitter pages to get the latest information. Many thanks.

  2. Great piece of information. I also look forward to the next GR products. The Supra GR and the future homologation model Yaris GR where 25.000 cars will be built within a year. I hope Toyota will keep differentiate itself from other makes. We still want to have light, agile, powerful driver cars. A dream for me would be a 4wd 300bhp Yaris (a Lancer EVO succesor), but that will be unlikely I’m afraid. If Toyota does bring such car you have one buyer for sure 🙂

    1. Hi Kevin,
      Thanks for your kind words. Keep an eye on our blog and social spaces for the latest information. Thanks.

  3. I’d love a performance Hybrid.

    If you uprated the motor-generators and HV battery to Prius spec (or better) and tuned the existing engine, you can maintain fuel economy while increasing performance.

    In fact, I suggest you could improve fuel economy on the existing package this way, in that the electric motor would be able to take a bit more of the steady-cruise load from the engine.

    I’d gladly sacrifice a bit of boot space for this!

    1. Hi John,
      Thanks for getting in touch. We’ve taken your comments on board and have passed them on to the product team. Thanks.

  4. Hey guys, why they made torsion beam in rear suspension if independent suspension improves handling and driving facilities of the car?

    1. Hi JayDi,
      Thanks for getting in touch. The smaller the car the more important it is to keep it ridged and a torsion beam is the ideal way of doing it.
      Independent suspension is needed if you have all wheel drive as it facilitates this system. With the GRMN being front wheel drive the use of rear beam is the best of the option. Hope this helps.

  5. How is the supercharger lubricated,oil filled?engine oil? is there a service rebuild interval thanks

  6. Hi,

    Yaris GRMN’s supercharger is oil filled and the vehicle has the same 10,000 mile/12 month service schedule as the rest of the Toyota passenger car range.


  7. Hello,

    Would these seats be available to order to fit into the older Yaris 1.8 SR (bit of a missed op that)… I’ve got one but fitting bucket seats is proving a nightmare due to the passenger seat occupancy sensor. It’s still a good car and I’m reluctant to change it! The GRMN is of course much nicer but out of my price range atm.

    I think Toyota could do really well if it brought out an aftermarket seat/tuning parts range.

    1. Hi DJ,

      Sorry, these seats are not available for your car, and we can’t advise further on modification like that.


  8. Thank you,

    How about the supercharger kit as the engine codes for the GRMN are the same as the older Yaris 1.8 SR being both 2ZR-FE?

    Like all Toyotas the SR is very reliable and well built. Mines had some upgrades but being NA a supercharger would be ideal!

    Toyota seem to have done a 215 BHP version of this for the Swiss market with Bemani tuning- that was pre GRMN. Can you share any more information on that project? From what I have read only 100 were made?

    1. Hi,

      The supercharger was not produced/designed for your vehicle. They may share an engine code, but the way they are tuned, and managed by the ECU will be very different. We wouldn’t recommend fitting it. Sorry, we can’t comment on vehicles in other markets and have no information about Bemani.


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