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Toyota's wild 2017 WRC Yaris

By Scott Newman, 25 Oct 2016 News

Toyota's wild 2017 WRC Yaris

Yaris WRC has Group B fever in tarmac trim

Toyota's wild Yaris WRC has appeared in tarmac trim for the first time and it's crazier than ever. 

Spied by Colla Verglas in what's believed to be one of its first tarmac tests, the Yaris sports one of the biggest rear wings in motor racing and enormous vents in the back of its swollen wheelarches. 

The change in WRC regulations for 2017 were aimed at producing more spectacular cars but it looks like the Toyota team has spent a few too many hours watching old Group B documentaries.

It's not known whether this is the Yaris's final form, but with the homologation deadline for next year's cars only days away it would be unusual for it to change radically.

As per the regulations, powering the Yaris WRC is a 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder producing around 280kW courtesy of a larger 36mm inlet restrictor (up from the current 33mm), fed to all four wheels through a six-speed paddle-shift gearbox and active centre differential.

Toyota appears to have a few tricks up its sleeve with the engine, the Yaris emitting a raucous, angry bark that sounds harsher and more aggressive than similar units from Hyundai, Citroen or Volkswagen.

2017-Toyota -Yaris -WRC-rearToyota has confirmed Finn Juho Hanninen as its main driver for 2017 and is expected to also promote another Finn, 25-year-old Esapekka Lappi, to the second car for his first full year at WRC level. 

Team boss Tommi Makinen has been handling a lot of the early development work and has downplayed 2017 as a learning year for the team ahead of a championship challenge in 2018.

The first round of the 2017 WRC season takes place in Monte Carlo on January 20-22.