Toyota launched an updated version of its GR Yaris hot hatch in January during the 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon, but still in the works is the car's hotter GRMN variant, a prototype for which has been spotted for the first time.

GRMN is the range-topping option for road cars developed by Toyota's Gazoo Racing motorsports department. It stands for “Gazoo Racing Masters of Nürburgring,” and cars classified as GRMNs can be compared to top offerings from the likes of Subaru's STI and Mercedes-Benz's AMG divisions.

The prototype for the GRMN Yaris shows several noticeable differences versus the regular GR Yaris, which is already an extreme car. These include a new makeshift intake up front, where the license plate normally sits, necessitating a shift in the position of the license plate on the prototype.

There's also an extended front splitter and an upgraded brake package from the Japanese company Endless. The rear wing with its swan-neck struts is featured on the current GRMN Yaris launched in 2022, and should also feature on the updated version.

2025 Toyota GRMN Yaris facelift spy shots - Photo credit: Baldauf

2025 Toyota GRMN Yaris facelift spy shots - Photo credit: Baldauf

Typical GRMN upgrades include improved rigidity, extra downforce, and reduced weight. The current GRMN Yaris also has a slightly wider track and lower ride height compared to the regular GR Yaris.

The current car doesn't have any extra power over the regular GR Yaris, which means the updated version will likely pack the same 276 hp as the updated GR Yaris, though the extra cooling up front may indicate otherwise.

According to our photographer, Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda, the grandson of Toyota's founder and a champion of the GR and GRMN versions of the Yaris, was present during the test session, which took place at the Nürburgring. He was one of the key backers for the Direct Automatic Transmission that was developed for the latest GR Yaris and will likely also be fitted to the GRMN Yaris.

2024 Toyota GR Yaris

2024 Toyota GR Yaris

The 8-speed auto is designed to shift faster than a regular auto by using software to predict driving behavior. While such technology isn't new, Toyota's software looks beyond the standard metrics such as deceleration g-forces and speed, and integrates acceleration and braking into its logic. By doing so, it is able to anticipate when a shift is necessary before a change in driving behavior actually takes place.

Look for the GRMN Yaris to debut late this year or early next.

Although the U.S. misses out on both the GR Yaris and GRMN Yaris, Toyota offers the bigger GR Corolla here and also appears to be readying a GRMN Supra that will likely be sold in the U.S. as well.