Toyota Returns to WRC with Yaris, Sort of

Toyota Returns to WRC with Yaris, Sort of

Toyota’s new TMG performance division is debuting the production model, Yaris R1A racer, at the ninth round of the WRC.

Excited? Don’t be. The Yaris is a “Zero Car” which in rally racing serves the same duties as a “pace car” in track racking.

After it’s debut, however, Toyota will offer Yaris rally cars for sale to private teams wishing to compete in the new R1A entry level series to the WRC – think of it as the equivalent to the B-Spec series in SCCA. Priced at €22,500 (about $27,500), it’s a budget offering for the class that only allows vehicles with engines 1.4-liters or smaller and minimal modifications.

The kit that upgrades to the Yaris consists of  a racing exhaust system with a racing catalytic converter. Shorter final drive gear ratios and a racing suspension with adjustable springs are also included.

Safety gear that also comes with the upgrade includes a bolt-in roll cage, sump guard, and guards for the fuel tank and lines. Fire extinguishers, rally seats, harnesses and power cut-off switch are also included because they are mandatory for racing.

With a 1.3-liter engine and heavy-duty rally parts, don’t expect it to be demolishing the Yaris Spec-B track racing car that is sold here. The new Yaris debuts at the ninth round of the WRC, the Rallye Deutschland which runs from August 24 to the 26th.

Toyota left rallying in 1999 and this marks the automaker’s first toe back in the water. Yoshiaki Kinoshita, TMG President, said “the TMG Yaris R1A is a completely different project compared to our WRC past; it is an affordable but exciting car which makes rallying‟s major events accessible to a whole range of participants. We have already received numerous inquiries about this car so we know there is a huge appetite in the rally world for a new Toyota. I hope this is the start of a new rally dynasty at TMG.”

GALLERY: Toyota R1A Yaris Rally Car