The previous fast Yaris was a hoot; the new one looks even more serious
We were big fans of Toyota's Yaris GRMN when we drove it nearly two years ago; the lively, engaging hatch proving that the best things can still come in small packages. Only 100 of the limited 600-car production run made it to UK shores, though, meaning that even if buyers could justify the £26,295 asking price, they still weren't guaranteed to get their hands on one.
Now, however, Toyota has officially unveiled a successor for the first time, a post on Twitter teasing Gazoo Racing's latest Yaris project. Having previously hinted that future GR products would be more closely related to the outfit's racing endeavours, the new car is set to be revealed in just 10 days' time. The venue? Rally Australia.
That's an exciting sign for those hoping for a genuine, competition-inspired model. As is the 'GR-4' title which accompanies the teaser - possibly alluding to the presence of a WRC-aping all-wheel drive set-up. In the absence of any concrete details the aggressive bumpers, flared arches and sporty wheels spied during recent Nurburgring tests are the only indication of the potential performance on offer - Toyota hopefully knowing better than to opt for style over substance.
We do also have a few choice words from the Executive VP of Toyota Europe, Matt Harrison, who previously told Autocar of the company's "desire to link Yaris to our success in motorsport. On selected vehicles, we will look at a GR derivative, which is differentiated on these grounds - whether that's displacement or whatever."
That opens the door to the possibility of a rally-styled, all-wheel drive model, powered by something more powerful than the standard car's 1.5-litre four-cylinder motor - an enticing prospect indeed if Gazoo's previous form is anything to go by. Hopefully this time there'll be enough for everyone.