The Yaris…a little car you most likely encounter every day on your daily commute and think nothing more of than a slow econobox that won’t get out of your way and back in the slow-lane where it belons. But imagine a different Yaris, one with wide sweeping fender flares, fat tires, a snarling race-exhaust and a bad attitude courtesy of boosted and inter-cooled engine.
Here’ the thing though, this isn’t a nightmare or a whimsical flight of fancy what we’ve just described is the seriously aggressive 2017 Toyota Yaris WRC. It packs a turbocharged four-pot, wheel arches big enough to hide under, and it’ll fling up gravel against the best in the world during the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship season. You won’t be overtaking this bad boy anytime soon
As of late, rallying has been dominated by guys named Sebastien and cars from Volkswagenand Citroen. Toyota will be looking to put a stop to that in the coming years, and the Japanese giant has the rally pedigree to do so. Toyota left the WRC after the 1999 season, ending 25 years of continuous rally competition, but not before nabbing 43 wins, four drivers’ championships, and three manufacturers’ titles.
Built at Toyota Motorsport GmbH’s technical center in Cologne, Germany, the Yaris WRC could earn a few more. Underneath its skin, the Yaris sports a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder, eked out to produce over 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. That grunt gets funneled to the ground through a six-speed manual.
Don’t like the design? Given that the 2017 season is quite a ways away, there will likely be a few slices and cuts taken out of the Yaris shape. Toyota’s current goals, aside from developing the car, are to reassemble its rally team personnel and a new all-star driver lineup. In the words of Chuck, “Its never safe in the car.”