WRC-Inspired Toyota Yaris Now Highly Likely
Honda’s latest Civic Type-R is one of the hottest hatches ever. But now Toyota are throwing their hat in the ring and there’s speculation that a WRC-inspired Yaris is on the cards…
The new Honda Civic Type-R, with its 306bhp and aggressive styling, is one of the best examples of how the Japanese can absolutely nail hot hatches. It stands to reason, therefore, that another Japanese car giant would look to shove its way into the European hot hatch marketplace. Enter Toyota and their WRC-inspired Yaris…
But while this exciting news is great, why have Toyota suddenly decided to make a return to the lucrative hot hatch market?
The answer lies in the fact that Toyota have also said that they will return to the World Rally Championship (WRC) – having been absent since 1999 – and run a Yaris-based vehicle in it by 2017. Industry insiders have said that reports of a road-going version being produced are accurate and we won’t have to wait too long to see it.
Toyota’s WRC-spec Yaris will probably sport a 1.6-litre turbo four constructed by Toyota Motorsport GmbH, which will have to comply with all manner of FIA rules and regulations. The production version, however, is likely to boast the same 2.0-litre turbo four that’s found in the Lexus NS 200t.
Whether the street legal Yaris will have power going to just the front wheels or all four is still unknown, but with a six-speed manual transmission and a limited slip differential, it could be a potent little beast that will put a lot of smiles on a lot of faces.
The FIA’s homologation requirements mean that only a limited number are likely to be produced and while there is no word yet on a potential price tag, we’re estimating that European hot hatch enthusiasts will probably have to part with around 35,000 euros to own one.