The Japanese automaker has decided to enter the Yaris as its new World Rally Championship representative – and the motorsport move will be mirrored in the real world with a hot hatch representative.
The company announced it “will use experience gained from [our] full-blooded return to the World Rally Championship to develop and improve its road car technology, and expand the Yaris range with a new performance-focused model.” The one we see in the sketch looking ready to go head to head with the Ford Fiesta ST. Most likely the hot Yaris version will have the Gazoo moniker, as Toyota has already established that every upcoming performance version of its model roster will also carry the name of the factory race team.
No technical info is available yet but the rumor mill has openly discussed the Yaris Gazoo taking up a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder, turbocharged engine as seen in the Yaris WRC. It should pack up around 200 horsepower – as seen on rivals such as the Ford Fiesta ST, Peugeot 208 GTI and Opel Corsa OPC. The drawing shows a low, wide and muscular three-door Yaris – while others are keen on packing five doors on their small hot hatch offerings. The segment is going to be a lot more disputed – with the new Kia Rio GT and maybe even a Nissan Micra Nismo.