The Toyota GR Yaris is one of the best supermini hot hatchbacks in recent years, praised by almost anyone who’s driven it, and if we were to bet on it, we’d say that it would beat its rivals on the track – save perhaps for the bigger Mercedes-AMG A45 S and Audi RS3 Sportback.
However, AutoBildSportsCars’ lap of the Sachsenring proved the opposite, as the homologation special actually came behind the front-wheel drive Ford Focus ST, whose 2.3-liter EcoBoost pumps out 280 PS (276 HP / 206 kW) and 420 Nm (310 lb-ft) of torque.
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At 1:40.65, it was also beaten by the 306 PS (301 HP / 225 kW) and 450 Nm (332 lb-ft). front-wheel drive MINI JCW GP by more than two seconds.
The unofficial clocked run at the German track, performed on Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires that come as standard with the Circuit Pack, did place the GR Yaris ahead of the old Peugeot 208 GTI, which used a 1.6-liter turbocharged four with 208 PS (205 HP / 153 kW) and 300 Nm (221 lb-ft) and did a 1:41.17.
It also managed to beat the Ford Fiesta ST by nearly two seconds, though it is unknown whether we’re talking about the latest iteration. If so, then you’re looking at a front-wheel drive hot hatch that packs a 1.5-liter three-banger with 200 PS (197 HP / 147 kW) and 290 Nm (214 lb-ft) and has front-wheel drive.
In European spec, the GR Yaris is powered by a 257 HP (261 PS / 192 kW) and 266 lb-ft (360 Nm) turbocharged 1.6-liter three-cylinder engine, with a six-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive. It will do the 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in less than 5.5 seconds and reach a 143 mph (230 km/h) maximum speed.