Toyota is back in WRC for 2017 and there's a 210hp Yaris on the way off the back of it
Remember how Citroen dominated WRC for the best part of a decade but somehow never got round to giving us a suitably heroic road car to celebrate the fact? Still seems bonkers now, especially given how everything from old Escorts to Integrales maintain passionate fanbases off the back of rally heritage. See also the 90s craze for Japanese rally reps and Audi's continued use of 80s Quattro rallying success to support its performance product to this day.
A proper Toyota hot hatch again? Excellent!
Toyota can't be accused of missing the same trick though. The mad looking Yaris WRC is among the most eagerly awaited new cars from the pending 2017 championship and has grabbed much of the attention in pre-season testing. Before the car has even made its competitive debut though Toyota has confirmed it'll be bringing a new hot hatch Yaris to the Geneva show in March "forging a link between the Yaris WRC and the standard road-going model range" that'll nicely shake up the hot hatch market.
The timing is good too. The Fiesta ST is arguably the benchmark B-segment hot hatch but there's a new Fiesta coming and the hot version is yet to be confirmed. Details from Toyota about the Yaris are thin but it has confirmed "more than" 210hp, meaning this will most definitely be a 'proper' hot hatch contender and ready to pick up where the Fiesta leaves off. It's also a decisive move to the sporty for Yaris which, warm T-Sport version aside, has never really shrugged its white goods image.
There's more than a bit of anticipation about the new WRC era with its faster, wilder looking cars and promise of a return to Group B excitement. If Toyota's move prompts a similar showroom battle between manufacturers and inspires a new generation of feisty hot hatches off the back of it then we're all winners. See, we told you WRC 2017 was a reason to be cheerful didn't we...
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Not sure if it's the particular colour choice in combination with the styling, but on the press images it looks really narrow and about to tip over in the first bend...
daveco12 Jan 2017
Looks almost like the Fiat 500 Abarth, except with more power
TameRacingDriver12 Jan 2017
3 door as well, a dying breed.
MustardCutter12 Jan 2017
That front end isn't exactly easy on the eye... I'm going to assume that only the front wheels will be driven and that and any future hot hatches marketed off WRC participation from the other competing manufacturers will also be the same. Though I'd love to see a brace of small hatchbacks given big turbos, massive arches, big rear wing and 4wd for the road.
Edited by MustardCutter on Thursday 12th January 11:42
Onehp12 Jan 2017
Though I'd love to see a brace of small hatchbacks given big turbos, massive arches, big rear wing and 4wd for the road.
Isn't Audi releasing a RS1 soon? Probably needs the badge to warrent the cost for most people and that's without the massive arches...