Just out of the blue, Toyota announced they fancy returning to the World Rally Championship in 2017, and that they are developing a brand-new rally car based on the Yaris hatchback. It’s been 18 years since Toyota last won a WRC race, so this little Yaris carries a lot of weight on its shoulders.
That’s, of course, a figure of speech. Toyota Yaris WRC is a fairly lightweight competition car, powered, according to the FIA rules, by a 1.6 liter, 300bhp and 420Nm of torque, turbocharged engine. It features a six-speed sequential compete with a ZF Sachs clutch, and it boasts a steel body shell.
Granted, Toyota Yaris WRC doesn’t look anything like the old fierce-looking Corolla and Celica WRCs, but in the current World Rally company, next to cars like the Citroen DS3 and Hyundai i20, the Yaris actually looks quite formidable.
Toyota’s other motorsport activities over the course of the next two years will include the continuation of the on-going effort to win a respectable place in FIA World Endurance Championship; the domination of Japan’s top-level Super GT with Lexus; entering the new RC F GT3 into FIA GT series; competing at Nürburgring 24 Hours with Gazoo Racing; Japanese Super Formula; NASCAR; and Rally Dakar.