Toyota’s motorsports arm, Gazoo Racing, has released the first teaser video of its upcoming Toyota Yaris GR4 hot hatch prototype. Originally scheduled to have its global debut at last month’s Rally Australia, the event and the prototype’s reveal was cancelled due to the devastating bushfires in NSW.
UPDATE (13/12/2019): The Yaris GR4 prototype will be making its official debut as the "GR Yaris" at the next month's Tokyo Auto Salon. The GR Yaris will be the second global 'GR' branded product after the GR Supra. Tokyo Auto Salon will be held at Makuhari Messe from January 10th to 12th.
The teaser video features Gazoo Racing’s “Master Driver” Morizo – the pseudonym used by Toyota’s CEO Akio Toyoda – putting the prototype to its “final test” and launching what appears to be its four-wheel drive (thus the ‘4’ in its name) system on gravel.
The video doesn’t give much of the prototype’s details and inner workings away, and neither has Gazoo released any further details on the prototype or when it will be officially unveiled.
Rumours have it that the GR4 will be a homologation special of Gazoo Racing’s new generation of Yaris rally cars, and will be equipped with a rally-inspired four-wheel drive system.
A report from Japanese car site, Web Motor magazine (no relation), suggests that the GR4 hot hatch could sport a tiny 1.5-litre turbo three-cylinder mill producing close to 200kW as the TNGA-B platform, on which the production Yaris is based on, is designed for three-cylinder engines. This despite FIA requirements for R5 and WR cars to have 1.6-litre turbocharged engines.
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Unlike the Yaris GRMN, of which only 400 were built and sold in Europe, rumours have it that the production version of the Yaris GR4 won’t be in a limited production run and sold in multiple markets besides Europe.
What is certain is that we will bring news of the latest developments on the Yaris GR4 when they come to light. Stay tuned!