Toyota is set to reveal a new hot GR Yaris Prototype – set to be a rally-derived version featuring four-wheel-drive.
The machine, which will effectively succeed the previous generation’s limited-run Yaris GRMN as the range-topping version of the small hatch, has been teased with a single image released by Toyota on social media. In the post, Toyota said it would be revealed as part of the final Wedding Bells stage of Rally Australia, the World Rally Championship season-finale in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales on 17 November.
The image refers to the car as the GR-4, hinting that it will be offered with four-wheel-drive. That would bring it in line with the Yaris WRC that the firm has run in the top level of world rallying since 2017. It is possible the new car will serve as a ‘homologation special’, forming the basis for the next-generation Yaris WRC.
Feature: tracing the 2019 Rally GB route in a Yaris GRMN
The image shows the rear of the machine, with styling that’s familiar from the existing Yaris, but with the addition of far wider rear wheel arches to fit the car’s likely high performance brief. In a further nod to the car’s likely performance intent it sports the camouflage livery used by most recent hot Toyota models of recent years, including the recently revived Supra.
At the launch of the revamped Yaris recently, Toyota’s executive vice-president, Matt Harrison, told Autocar that a performance version of the model would likely be launched to strengthen the link between Toyota’s road cars and its Gazoo Racing motorsport arm.
Toyota has applied various levels of branding under the Gazoo Racing theme in order to develop a model structure for its high-performance models. These include the hardcore limited-run GRMN versions that are positioned above models that carry the GR badge, which represents an ‘authentic sports model’. The firm also offers a GR Sport trim level that offers a more aggressive look while retaining an unchanged mechanical package.