Toyota GR Yaris gains two WRC-inspired special editions

Toyota has detailed two special editions of the recently upgraded GR Yaris hot hatchback, which will go on sale in limited numbers later this year. 

Named the GR Yaris RZ High Performance Sébastien Ogier Edition and the GR Yaris RZ High Performance Kalle Rovanperä Edition, they were first revealed at the Tokyo Auto Salon last year. 

As their names suggest, the cars are inspired by the Gazoo Racing competition machinery driven by Sébastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanperä in the World Rally Championship (WRC).

They’re limited to the Japanese market, where prospective customers can take part in lotteries to secure an order slot. Just 100 examples of each will be made.

While no changes have been made to the 299bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine seen in the new GR Yaris, the two cars get four-wheel drive and special rally-specific driving modes. 

In the Ogier Edition, drivers have access to Normal mode – the same as the Normal mode on the RZ High Performance Trim of the standard GR Yaris – and Morizo mode, which improves traction and cornering by applying maximum restraint to the front and rear wheels. 

It also gains Seb mode, with power distribution that’s biased to the rear wheels, which “provides a sense of oneness with the vehicle” and boosts handling at higher speeds.

The Rovanperä Edition also gets Normal mode, plus it gets Donut mode, which improves drifting and donut spins by applying maximum direct connection to both the front and rear wheels. 

Kalle Mode enables drivers to make full use of an extra rear differential to swing out the rear of the car and helps to pull the front end forward when accelerating out of corners. 

As for design changes, the Rovanperä Edition is fitted with the rear wing from the GR Yaris GRMN, while the Ogier Edition gets a newly developed, lightweight rear spoiler. 

Both cars feature decals that celebrate Gazoo’s 2023 WRC title on the front wings, plus steering wheel stitching that matches the national flag of each driver’s home country (France and Finland).

Each car also gets a celebratory plaque on the dashboard. 

The two cars were developed at the request of Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda, an avid motorsport fan.

He said they were made to “express my respect and gratitude to the drivers who hone and grow our cars in rallies, to all the teams that provide us with such opportunities and to rally organisers and all others involved, as well as to fans”. 

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