Toyota GR Yaris showered with love at Tokyo Auto Salon

Over the weekend at the Tokyo Auto Salon, Toyota showed it’s not finished making frequent, substantive evolutions to its super-hot GR Yaris hatchback that only just turned three years old. Demonstrating the theme of “Making ever-better motorsports-bred cars,” the automaker brought three new versions to the show.

The “High-performance・Sébastien Ogier Edition Concept” and GR Yaris RZ “High-performance・Kalle Rovanperä Edition Concept” were developed with the input of Toyota’s WRC drivers. The differences are mostly cosmetic, but it’s the first time we’ve seen two champions’ takes on the same tool; Ogier won the WRC crown in 2021, Rovanpera won the WRC title in 2022. Beyond that duo, the “GR Yaris Rally2 Concept” is a prototype built to Rally2 spec for privateer and customer teams to run the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). 

Ogier’s GR Yaris adds a larger rear stabilizer and blue brake calipers, and comes in a special bi-tone of glossy silver with black accents on the doors. The cabin’s got special red, white, and blue stitching on the steering wheel, and the 4WD mode selector unlocks control programming exclusive to this trim. Rovanpera’s GR Yaris goes with a revised rear wing and unnamed aerodynamic parts, red brake calipers, and is dressed in a red, white, and gray camo pattern. Blue and silver stitching adorn the steering wheel, shifter boot, parking brake handle, and seats, and the 4WD mode programming reflects Rovanpera’s input. Both cars feature uprated torque of 287 pound-feet. They’ll go on sale in Japan soon, Toyota is considering putting the name of every buyer on the WRC race cars to show that the customers “are our partners in competing in the WRC.”

The GR Yaris Rally2 Concept has another year of testing ahead. The race division will enter it into the Japanese Rally Championship to continue development, and aims to complete homologation by January 2024.

Lastly, for the owners who want to go their own way, a wider range of GR Yaris performance parts are headed to the GR Garage outlets in Japan starting later this month. Low-key mods include a new steering wheel, lightweight shift knob, parking brake lever, and full bucket seats. Hardcore stuff includes a set of track-focused GR shocks and a carbon fiber rear stabilizer. Items like a carbon fiber hood, NACA ducts, and a cold air intake live in between. 

We can only hope Toyota will show the GR Corolla as much love — the show display included a GR Corolla Aero Concept, too. We probably have a better shot at getting some of the new GR parts announced for the GR86 that will be released in Japan in March, like the aerodynamic nose cone, rear V brace, and aerodynamic door mirror fins.

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