As much as we love cars like the Ford Focus RS and Honda Civic Type R, there's no denying they lack the lightness and chuckable feeling of hot hatches from the '80s and '90s. Something like a Peugeot 205 GTI or even the first Civic Type R.
There are some modern options that come close, such as the Fiat 500 Abarth or Ford Fiesta ST, but if we had our pick we'd go with Toyota's new Yaris GRMN. French magazine L'argus (via Motor1) has a video that demonstrates how fun the little hot hatch can be. It was filmed during a recent track day at Spain's Castellolí circuit.
GRMN is the range-topping option from Toyota's new GR performance sub-brand—think STI for Subaru or Nismo for Nissan—and the first GRMN car was developed using lessons learned from racing the Yaris in the World Rally Championship.
Extensive testing on the Nürburgring and input from Toyota's Gazoo Racing motorsport department combined with a reinforced chassis plus additional bracing pretty much describes the Yaris GRMN. There's also a 1.8-liter supercharged inline-4 that delivers 212 horsepower and 183 pound-feet of torque. That might not sound like much but note that the car's curb weight is just 2,500 pounds. Toyota quotes a 0-60 mph time in the low 6.0s.
Toyota is yet to announce the introduction of GR in the United States. The automaker has hinted that GR may be introduced here under a different name, possibly TRD, but the chances of the Yaris GRMN making it over are slim given the car's limited production and tiny size. Such a shame.