Under the leadership of Toyoda and the WRC team, the GR Yaris began to take shape as a vehicle unlike anything Toyota produces. This individuality goes beyond the all-wheel drive system: the platform is a unique fusion of Toyota’s GA-B and GA-C platforms that has been designed to accommodate a double-wishbone rear suspension and the all-new engine. 1.6-liter turbo with 258 hp. engine is intended to accommodate a future second-tier WRC2 competition car.
Then there’s the lightweight body, which uses virtually nothing of the standard Yaris and makes extensive use of aluminum and forged carbon composite. At the request of the rally team, to facilitate the homologation of the 2022 Yaris Rally1, the roofline was lowered, a spoiler was added and the GR Yaris only has three doors instead of five.
While the final design and engineering may have come from Gazoo Racing, these design features and technologies would not have been possible without the help of the wider Toyota company. “The powertrain department really worked on the engine and materials engineering helped us with the lightweight body,” says Saito. “Electrical systems and production engineers also provided incredible help.
“We didn’t have a lot of the technology we needed in-house, so everyone went to a tremendous amount of effort to help us achieve the performance we wanted – and at an affordable cost. “
This point of “affordability” is important, and especially given the cost of developing such a singular car, which will never sell in the kinds of volumes that the world’s largest automaker would normally aim for. But the company’s accountants are probably the only people who are, at worst, slightly dissatisfied with the outcome.