WATCH: WRC drivers get to grips with Yaris GR performance hatch
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - Toyota has released another teaser video of its upcoming Yaris GR performance hatch ahead of its official unmasking, which is set to take place on January 10.
In the short clip a disguised prototype of the Yaris GR production model is put through its paces by WRC drivers Ott Tanak, Kris Meeke, Jari-Matti Latavala as well as Toyota Gazoo WRC principal Tommi Makinen, who as you might remember, is a former world rally driver.
And by “put through its paces” we mean plenty of powersliding in the dirt, as Toyota wants to show us that this is meant to be a rally car for the road of sorts.
But the thing that excites us most are the widespread rumours that this Toyota performance hatch will have all-wheel-drive, just like its world rally counterpart. This will make it the only AWD vehicle in its class, and should deliver a distinct handling advantage over rivals like the Volkswagen Polo GTI and Mini Cooper S.
It remains to be seen what will power the Yaris GR, but Japan’s Motor Magazine recently reported, citing insider knowledge, that it would have a three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine.
Toyota Gazoo Racing says that the Yaris GR will incorporate “all the technologies, knowledge, and experience” that the company has learned from WRC.
And to that end, TGR remains fully committed to the world of motorsport:
“Toyota, through its TGR motorsport activities, is seeking to create ever-better cars and expand its passionate fan support by competing in a series of demanding races in a variety of categories on roads around the world.”
At this stage it's unclear whether the Yaris GR will be offered in South Africa. The local division imports the Asian-market Yaris rather than the European model that will form the basis of the GR, but that doesn’t mean TSA can’t import the performance hatch separately.