Toyota will soon build a hot hatch to join the fun alongside the rear-drive 86 and the new LC 500 coupe. Yep, the automaker's newest World Rally Championship (WRC) car will influence a production version of the little Yaris.
Details are slim, but Toyota Europe confirmed on Twitter that it's working on a "performance-oriented" Yaris, and revealed a concept sketch of the car. this car will be named the Yaris Gazoo, a reference to Toyota's factory race team.
Previously, we reported that Toyota was considering building such a Yaris, but that it wouldn't arrive until the next-generation car debuts in 2018. However, the sketch released by Toyota today appears to show a current-generation Yaris wearing a body kit and similar paint scheme to its WRC counterpart.
Autocar that Toyota would establish a road-car brand around Gazoo racing, reflecting the automaker's participation in WRC and the World Endurance Championship (WEC). Currently, Toyota sells road cars tuned by Gazoo, but only in Japan. We've reached out to Toyota to ask whether a hot Yaris will come to North America, and will update this post if we hear back.
In the last few years, Toyota and Lexus have increased their presence in motorsports and added more performance cars to their lineups, so a hot hatch makes perfect sense. We'd love to see a Yaris to take on the mighty Fiesta ST, especially if it comes to the States.