It’s official, boys and girls: Toyota is rejoining the rally stage next season for the first time this millennium, and this is it’s new challenger.
Competing in the 2017 World Rally Championship will be the new Toyota Yaris revealed today. But as you can plainly see from all those wings, this is no ordinary Yaris.
Built to comply with the latest generation of competition regulations, the Yaris WRC packs a 1.6-liter turbo engine sending 380 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels to scramble across gravel, dirt, ice, snow, or dry pavement at speeds of up to 125 miles per hour (limited mostly by gearing).
The 2017 cars are also lighter than previous iterations, with more mechanical and aerodynamic grip, and more differentials to keep it all pointed in the right direction: sideways.
Toyota Gazoo Racing will field two cars next season to be driven by Jari-Matti Latvala (winner of 16 top-tier rallies) and by Juho Hänninen (a proven S2000-class champ who lead Toyota’s development program).
With both Hyundai and the M-Sport/Ford teams eager to prove themselves, Citroën similarly returning to the field, and privateer teams potentially to run Volkswagen Polos following the factory’s withdrawal, Toyota will have its work cut out for itself. But we’re looking forward to watching them all try to get ahead on the releveled playing field.