Toyota Yaris WRC is Continuing a Great Story
Toyota Yaris WRC is a World Rally Car designed and built by Toyota Gazoo Racing to compete in the FIA World Rally Championship, starting with the 2017 season.
Yaris WRC was built in compliance with the new-for-2017 FIA WRC technical regulations, together with other three 2017-spec World Rally Cars: Citroen C3, Ford Fiesta and Hyundai i20 Coupe. The main feature for all four cars are the 1.6-litre 4-cylinder turbo charged engine, similar to the previous generation World Rally Car’s engine, but boosted to 380 horse powers.
Yaris marks Toyota’s return to WRC
Yaris WRC has a special place among the 2017-spec cars because it marks the return of Toyota to the World Rally Championship after 17 years, following team’s withdrawal from the championship at the end of 1999.
The project of Toyota’s return to the WRC started in 2014 when the first prototype of Yaris-based rally car underwent initial tests. A development of a car had few phases, with ups and downs. At the end, a project was assigned to the four-time world rally champion Tommi Mäkinen, who became a Team Principal of the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team.
Radical design and brutal engines of 2017-spec cars
Under Mäkinen ‘s guidance, the final version of a car had its first public appearance in the spring of 2016, during tests in Finland. The final design of a car was revealed in December 2016 at the ceremony in Helsinki, Finland.
Except for the powerful engines, which reminds rally fans to the age of brutal Group B rally cars back in the 1980s, new World Rally Cars feature aggressive design and exceptional aerodynamic packages. According to fans and media, Yaris WRC has the most radical design of all 2017-spec cars. Some say it’s ugly, others say it’s brutal, but nobody can’t say that Yaris WRC is inconspicuous.
All-Finnish drivers’ line-up for Yaris WRC
Although Toyota Gazoo Racing is based in Germany, where is a headquarters of Toyota Motorsport GmbH, we could say that the team wasn’t Japanese or German but Finnish, because not only Team Principal is from Finland but all three drivers in the 2017 WRC season are from that Nordic country.
Toyota chose Jari-Matti Latvala to lead drivers’ line-up in the #10 Yaris WRC. The full-time driver in the #11 car is Juho Hänninen while the third driver, with a limited schedule in the #12 car, is Esapekka Lappi.
Latvala scored maiden win for Yaris at Rally Sweden
The maiden victory for the Yaris WRC came in the second round of the 2017 WRC season, at Rally Sweden in February. Jari-Matti Latvala won the event, scoring the first WRC win for Toyota since Didier Auriol’s triumph at China Rally in 1999. With that win, Yaris WRC joined the club of legendary Toyota vehicles which were winning in the world’s premier rally championship – Corolla WRC and Celica GT-Four.
Toyota Yaris WRC specifications
|Engine||Inline 4-cylinder 1600cc, turbo charged|
|Power/tourque||380 hp/425 Nm|
|Gearbox||6-speed hydraulic shift|
|Transmission||4-wheel drive, 2 x mechanical differentials, active center differential with torque split options|
|Suspension||MacPherson front and rear|
|Brakes||Gravel 300 mm air and liquid cooled, Tarmac 370 mm air and liquid cooled|