The Toyota Yaris will be competing in the World Rally Championship (WRC) and new rumors suggest that the rally car could spawn a hot hatch variant of the little production car.
This has been the first time in 17 years Toyota has competed in the race, and speaking to AutoExpress, the Japanese automaker’s European president and CEO Johan van Zyl hinted that the motorsports tie-up could lead to bigger things for the tiny car.
“It’s no use doing motorsport if you can’t reflect it in your product,” he said. “What you’ll see is that we want to totally integrate it into our offering.”
Toyota unveiled its WRC Yaris at the Paris Motor Show recently with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The motor has direct injection and produces more than 300 horsepower. The production Yaris is powered by a 1.5L four-cylinder with just 106 hp and 103-pound-feet of torque.
The hot hatch market keeps getting hotter, so the timing is good for a performance-oriented Toyota Yaris that could compete with the Ford Fiesta ST. Unfortunately,we likely won’t see any production news about this hopped up Yaris until the next generation hatch arrives sometime in 2018. There are also chances the model, if and when it does become a production car, won’t be sold in North America.