Toyota’s WRC Contender Does TAS

Tokyo Auto Salon has always been, and will always be about the tuner cars. It’s impossible not to be captivated by the off-the-wall creations from Japan’s best-known tuner shops, but it would be a mistake to skim past the manufacturer stands and see what the factory boffins have been cooking up. This year Nissan, Mazda, Honda, Suzuki, Subaru and Toyota all had sprawling stands within the Makuhari Messe exhibition halls.

For sheer square meterage, the Toyota group dominated the OEMs with Toyota, TRD, Lexus and Gazoo Racing all having independent stands, and before the doors opened to the masses on Sunday morning, I snuck in for a closer look at arguably the most important car the collective had on display.

Toyota-Yaris-WRC-blakejones-speedhunters-2107

Rally fans would know that this past weekend saw the launch of the 2017 World Rally Championship with Rallye Monte Carlo. Admittedly, WRC hasn’t really been on my radar for the past few seasons due to my perception of a lack of competitiveness (fun fact: it’s been 13 years since the Driver’s Championship has been won by someone not named Sébastien – Ogier won the last four, and Loeb the nine before that), but for the 2017 season there’s been a significant shake-up to rules and vehicle lineup. I won’t go deep into details here, but the cars are lighter and more powerful with more aero; VW has pulled the plug; and Toyota is back in the mix for the first time since 1999 (Citroën making a return too). All early signs point towards a more exciting season in 2017.

Toyota-Yaris-WRC-blakejones-speedhunters-2095

Keeping with the trend of using a sub-compact base car, Toyota’s Yaris provides its name and styling cues to this custom built machine, but it goes without saying that almost nothing else remains from the production version you and I could buy from our local Toyota dealer. 380PS and 425Nm is delivered to all four wheels from a turbocharged, direct injected 1.6-litre inline four.

Toyota-Yaris-WRC-blakejones-speedhunters-2098

The car is being campaigned under the ‘Toyota Gazoo Racing’ (TGR) name, with the project being led by rally legend Tommi Mäkinen. TGR is an internal division of Toyota Motor Company, unlike TRD (Toyota Racing Development) in Tokyo which is actually a wholly-owned subsidiary. To complicate matters further, the car was actually developed by another subsidiary TMG (Toyota Motorsports GmbH) based in Koln, Germany. This is the same operation that was responsible for the company’s previous successes in WRC back in the 1990s – using the TTE (Toyota Team Europe) name – and now builds and runs the pair of TS050s that contest the World Endurance Championship.

Toyota-Yaris-WRC-blakejones-speedhunters-2103

It seems the mix of motorsport brands was too confusing for punters (including yours truly), so almost all motorsport efforts from the Toyota family have been amalgamated under the Gazoo banner since 2015.

The name ‘Gazoo’ doesn’t exactly conjure up images of speed and performance and leaves most non-Japanese scratching their heads, but it does reveal an interesting bit of Toyota history. Prior to becoming President in 2009, Akio Toyoda launched an internet business – think Yahoo! – called Gazoo.com. This venture was terminated in 2006 due to conflicting priorities, but Toyoda-san kept the name and applied it to any other ‘passion projects’ he was involved in. It’s no secret that Toyoda is a huge motorsport enthusiast (even racing under a pseudonym in the Nürburgring 24 Hour race) – and his stated goal to bring the fun back to Toyota’s product range is hinged on the development and racing efforts of this new performance arm.

Toyota-Yaris-WRC-blakejones-speedhunters-2106

As can be expected from the ex-Formula One outfit, the intricacy and quality of the carbon fibre aerodynamic aids featuring on the Yaris is top notch, with the bare carbon rear wing and side mirrors stealing the show for me. It’s just damn cool to see rally cars looking so aggressive again; looking at this car in person had me thinking back to the Group B monsters that epitomised the sheer insanity of top-tier rallying.

Toyota-Yaris-WRC-blakejones-speedhunters-2094

Best of all, it looks as if Toyota’s renewed interest in motorsports is continuing to flow into product that all of us can hope to own. The Yaris hot hatch announced for a March reveal at the Geneva International Motor Show suggests that Gazoo-enhanced road cars, a fairly common sight on the roads of Japan, are set for a global rollout. If this is the case, we all win.

Video from the snow-covered mountain passes of Monte Carlo, where Jari-Matti Latvala brought the Yaris WRC home to an unbelievable second place outright on debut over the weekend has started to emerge: check out the footage.

Blake Jones
Instagram: blaketjones
blake@speedhunters.com

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1

Proper WRC again! Although I believe this is not the latest spec (See rear wing, wheel arches and front intake).

2

The cars are built and developed actually in Finland. The team is based in Tommi Mäkinen's home farm near Jyväskylä.

3

I think the Yaris is the most ungainly 2017 WRCar: it's like a modern 6R4! Great to see a Japanese marque back in the WRC though and a good start to the season for them as well.

4

I can't believe that any body can make $8668
in one month ...............


Open this >>>>>>>   http://www.fl-y.com/3m6j

6

I hope these new regs help viewing figures, rallying deserves more attention.

Personally however I think the aero ad-ons have gone some way to cluttering the cars, cars that are still essentially city runabouts.

I'd much prefer these rules applied to a more exciting segment, I mean a 4wd gt86 brisling with gazoo carbon would definitely get my attention.

7

Anyone else catch the Monte Carlo rally over the weekend? Christ on a bike, the cars are very, very quick.

8

Paddy McGrath Yeah. It's early days, but the initial signs are that the 2017 cars are going to deliver on the hype!

9

The only worry for now is Toyota's curse on last-minute defeat in WRC and Le Mans.

10

tbtstt Paddy McGrath Some of the aerial footage of Tanak and Evans in the fast snow stuff was mesmerising. Already looking forward to Sweden and to seeing what Breen can do in the 2017 C3.

11

Were those two other rally cars also driven in period by finnish drivers?

12

Definitely watched it. Caught all the highlights on the Redbull App for free, and have gone through over an hour of fan footage from along the stages.
Some of the spectator footage is amazing! The cars are crazy fast this year, sound incredible, and look the part too.
Yes Ogier won, but he definitely had some luck on his side. He put the car in the ditch 2 times, went through a field, and had understeer all weekend. Almost every other top runner had a significant issue that took them out of the running. Once teams sort out early season gremlins, I think this season is going to be extremely closely contested.
These cars are going to be nuts in Sweden.

13

Paddy McGrath let me google that for you..... 

https://youtu.be/34oGrjlvMZo

Jezus

14

zapsnyder Paddy McGrath That's all from testing, none of it is from the actual event. I subscribed to WRC Plus for the season so I've caught all of the event already. Thanks for the link though, they still sound pretty damn good.

17

Crazy idea time. SPEEDHUNTERS GOES TO MONTE CARLO!!! Take on the RGT class, which is an AM category for RWD cars like the Fiat 124 Abarth, or Porsche 997 :D. Mad Mike in an MX5, Forsberg in a 370Z, Tuerk in a GT86, Aasbo in a GT86, and Gittin Jr in a Mustang....how EPIC would that be!?!?!?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=n8n8KE89mwg

18

Ella . even though Rita `s storry is really great, last thursday I bought a gorgeous Dodge after making $5825 this past 5 weeks and-just over, ten-grand last-munth . it's actualy my favourite-job I've ever had . I started this six months/ago and immediately was bringin home at least $76 per-hr.http://www.woltcash.com/

20

my Aunty Taylor just got yellow Mitsubishi Eclipse by working part time from the internet... 
Look At This.............  ­­http://bit.ly/2iKWY1m

21
FuelEconomyKilledTheCarsWeLove!

toyota was hopeless in formula one so using that as a comparison is disingenuous, and they got booted out of wrc for cheating last time, hopefully they can redeem themselves on this latest outing, also hopefully jari matti had a pre season boot up his backside as well he has been very average of late!

22

Janne Koskinen Kankkunen drove each one of them, but these particular examples are Safari Rally winners driven by Kankkunen 1985, Waldegård 1990, and Fujimoto 1995.

23

I am amazed that a mom can make $9849


in 4 weeks ...........


http://www.fl-y.com/3m6j

24

Paddy McGrath tbtstt It wasn't a great weekend for Citroen, but Breen really shone in the 2016 car. As you say, it's going to be interesting to see him in the C3 in Sweden.
The Yaris clip that Twitch_6 posted is great: car sounds savage on the limiter! Tanak was one of the stars of the weekend for me. Great driving from him in a under powered car, his attack on the SS17 descent was incredible to watch.

25

my stepmother got a fantastic black Infiniti G Coupe just by part time work from a macbook 
air. 
see it here.............  
                                  http://tinyurl.com/h5sn2n9

26

pseudonym.... this guy... 
you have a shares in Dictionary.com?

27

FuelEconomyKilledTheCarsWeLove! Sure down play one of the most ingenious cheats in motorsport!  TTE won the manufacturers' championship in 1999 before moving to F1......so yeah they redeemed themselves

28

I am amazed that you able to earn $9936




 in 4 weeks .............




why not try here.............

29

MEH. Without homologation rules, I won't support any racing series. They make a fancy kit car for WRC, and the version they sell us gets beaten by minivans... No thanks!
I'll stick to motoGP and supercross. Full racing versions are available for purchase from several manufacturers.
For rally - there is only Subaru.

30

Right... Like Ken Block trying rally? LMAO. Half those names you mention - they would get rekt on turn one.
Anybody can learn to drift, with only 1 or 2 full days of practice at a track.
Rally is different. The ability to absorb info from a guy yelling at you, while at the same time plummeting sideways around blind corners you've never seen... It's an insult to rally, to think a bunch of hoon drivers can do it.
Make sure the hospital has enough jello.

31

Unless they bring back homologation, and Toyota is forced to sell us turbo awd cars - we should boycott WRC altogether. Get your rally fix, by buying a Subaru and finding local events to participate in.

32

You must not be old enough to know what 'proper WRC' actually was! Proper WRC, was back when you could go to the dealership and buy a Tommi WRC EVO 6 from the dealer. Or a McRae 555 scooby. These days, stupid kids drool over kit cars in WRC, and then go buy cheap econo crapboxes from the dealers, that don't have enough power to open a jar of peanut butter. Suckers.

33

StreetStatik just trying to keep my readers on their toes.

34

bakayaru I do long for the days of road-registered homologation race cars, but unfortunately the machines designed to contest top-tier motorsport like WRC simply can't coexist with modern day safety and/or emissions regulations. I'd love to see that change, but I just don't know how it ever would...

35

Delta_s4 Gazoo does have an AWD GT86, but it's not being used for any competition that I'm aware of. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxxGAkRKPac

36

tbtstt they have to be happy with these early positive results. Hopefully it convinces some of the other Japanese autos to get back into the game...

37

Yahoo CEO, Marissa Meyer has gone som far as to Support the practice "Work at home" that I have been doing since last year.check this link. ►►►►►►  ▒❥❥❥  http://7lifemoney.com/

38

So you're a "motorsport fan" who refuses to support motorsport because of certain standards....fuck off back to your bikes lol. Enjoy the SX season, now contested by 1 man being chased around by a group a boys and senior citizens.

39

Did I say they should compete in the WRC class? No. I said they could compete on the Amatuer RGT class....for AMATUERS. And who said they have to do it tomorrow? It's something they could spend a few years working towards.
"Plummeting around corners you've never seen" - shows how much you actually know about rallying lol. Everyone does recky runs first. They study every corner, and make their own pace notes. Then they run simulators, over and over and over. Many stages are used year upon year - the top guys have the stages completely memorized. Then, before they run a stage, the team's Gravel Crew runs through the stage to confirm and amend the pace notes as needed. Then the drivers run the stage. And then in the afternoon, they often run the same stage over again. "Corners they've never seen before." What kind of delusional Playstation version of rallying do you follow?

40

You were twitching when you typed that. Methadone might help your anger issues. Tweaker.

41

Im a drug addict? That's all you got?

42

they should've gone with the Corolla IM

43
DisplayName84545452

I dream of one day, to have a rally-oriented article on speedhunters.com without having the subaru-trolls rambling about how it was great "back then" and how subarus were "real rally cars" and everything else is "shit for stupid people". Yeah, subaru fans, we get it, you are smarter and and you have a bigger one than anyone else, and you are the only true motorsport fans and you are right and everyone else who's not thinking like you is wrong! And of course when someone is wrong on the internet you are our internet saviors. Thank you so much. Now you can go away loving your subarus and stop trolling the discussions. Thank you :)

45

bakayaru You do realize that there has been rallying before 1990s? 

For rally - there is only Mini Cooper
For rally - there is only Ford Escort
For rally - there is only Audi Quattro
etc.
etc.

46

bakayaru So you don't like the sport of rallying, but the fact that you'd be able to go and buy a car that gives you an illusion that you are one of the heroes of the sport. That's quite curious. Homologation cars were good recce cars and good bases for group N rally cars (at first, later became too expensive), but as road cars they were shit. 

Pretending to be a rally driver on the road is childish, dangerous and simply sad. If you really love rallying just go and buy a rally car. Start with something 2wd and little power and when you get better consider something more powerful and maybe 4wd. Though if you want to have the most fun, rwd is the king.

Rallying is not about a turbo and 4wd. Rallying is about racing against a clock on a challenging road while keeping the car together. Part extreme adrenaline sport, part adventure.

And by the way, Tommi Mäkinen used to drive a basic fwd Mitsubishi Carisma econo crapbox on his Mitsubishi days

47

I am Subaru owner (and fanboy!) DisplayName84545452, but the endless trolling comments bother me as well. Sadly some people have trouble adjusting to the fact that times change...

48

Blake Jones bakayaru For me the Group A period was the best for homologation, but those days are long gone. Times change and, at present, I think for the better in WRC. 
I actually disagree that the regulations don't/can't coexist with modern safety and emission standards. The overriding issue for most manufacturers is the economics of having to produce a "race car for the showroom". Asking for road-registered homologation race cars is great in theory, but returning to such regulations would likely remove commitment from most (if not all) the manufacturers currently involved in the WRC. 
I love my Subaru, but you cannot ignore the fact that it was Subaru's decision to withdraw from the WRC (and that was while the regulations were still in their favour). Expecting the rules to change so they can potentially return is, to be blunt, utterly stupid.

49

Vitorro, exactly, thank you. Bakayaru says "you most be too young to remember real WRC, when it was basically production models". Well then Mr Bakayaru, you must be too young to remember Groub B. Those were "kit cars" completely different from a road car, and yet it is generally considered the best era of rallying (by everyone aside from Subaru fans).
I don't want to watch professional rally races drive hoped up grocery getters, I want to see them in purpose built race machines, pushing the limits. I can go watch amateur rallying if I want to watch people in nearly stock Subarus.

50

And you must be too young to remember Group B, when rally cars were purpose built race machines, not slightly modified boy-racer production vehicles.

51

Hard to believe, that any group of fans would be against homologation. Really blows my mind. Homologation rules are the reason why we have good cars AT ALL. Every car labeled GTO (gran turismo omoligato) , lots of classic ferrari's, every turbo AWD car... Name your favorite road car. I guarantee you it was improved by homologation.
All I hear from this pathetic group, is a bunch of whining about trolls, and swearing to look tough, really basic.
I guess I shouldn't expect a bunch of hipsters and twitching tweakers to stand up and demand homologation, like the older generations did.

52

Twitchy tweaker - you're too stupid to even understand what I'm talking about. Go drive your moms Prius.

53

Vitoria - the original rally mini cooper was raced in rally in FWD. the Escort Cosworth and Audi Quattro were BOTH sold to enthusiasts WITH AWD and TURBO. Homologation rules applied to Gruppe B. Everyone except you girls knows this.
Homologation rules applied to every generation of racing except yours. Why would you idiots be against it? Name one good reason?
The Ford Fiesta is raced as a kit car in rally. On the street, it's a slow fwd piece of garbage. My tow vehicle is faster than a fiesta st, even with my track car on the back!
This Toyota kit car looks fast in WRC - but Toyota will sell you a slow piece of shit.
Since you won't demand homologation, that's your fault.

54

Hahahaha!! You're such a complete nutter. Carlos Sainz, my favorite driver, said it best 'All the rallies blend into one. After a while, every race feels the same, smells the same, but you can't remember the corners. There are too many. Every time you race, every turn is new. You really need to depend on your co-pilot, to win'.
The fact that you ACTUALLY believe they could memorize all the courses, proves you've never run a single rally yourself. You lying little shit.
Pace note runs are often made at night, and always at a slower pace. In Africa Safari rallies, the drivers get no pre-run at all on sections. Just notes.
Fucking tweakers...

55

Fake account for fake comment, with fake thank you's and fake smiley faces.
My comment suggested a return to homologation. Your post was created purely to troll mine. Faker. Your false pretense - that you're not a troll - is well-learned from Trump and his ilk.
Trolling trolls doesn't make you anything other than a troll.
HOMOLOGATION OR BUST!

56

Blake, homologation rules simply stated that in order to rally, manufacturers had to offer the same configuration of engine and drivetrain, and sometimes sell a limited run of true performance cars to US - enthusiasts.
All Toyota would need to do, is build their 1.6 motor with a turbo, and add in AWD. This would be better for all of us.
The requirement of a turbo would mean EVERY 1.6 motor be built with oil ports, durable valvetrains, etc.
The requirement of AWD would mean the chassis must be stiffer, and the rear suspension mounts stronger.
Anyone standing against homologation, is either a non-enthusiast, an idiot, or simply uneducated.

57

bakayaru First of all, if you want win an argument, don't start calling people names. People usually learn that in elementary school. Second, I was actually referring to Ford Escorts of the 60s and 70s which ruled the world with their rear wheel drive and that was just a counter argument to your ignorant Subaru worshiping (You know, there was rallying before 1990s) 

Actually manufacturers need to homologate their cars nowadays too. They need to produce certain amount of the given model, before they can build a world rally car and they homologate the parts that they use. The only difference in the group A days was that they couldn't change the layout of the car. A group A rally car had pretty much every single part changed from the base model.

Group B homologation demanded 200 cars produced, which may or may not have been actually produced. I wouldn't be surprised if M-Sport had produced more Fiestas than certain manufacturers made their group B cars. Oh, by the way, if you really want to have a rally car for the road, you can go ahead and buy Fiesta R5, i20 R5 or Fabia R5. They are all road legal too. And they are real rally cars, not wannabe rally cars.

Your tow vehicle must be ace on the corners too...

58

Hey Bakyaru.....how old are you kid?

59

I'm here to promote rally cars for regular guys. I couldn't care less what your motives are.
I was on Sport Compact Car's actually list of people responsible for bring the WRX to America. I paid $28 8 months before getting my car. (The 18th WRX ever here).
I stopped sending nasty letters and forum posts to Ford, after they gave us the AWD turbo focus.
If Toyota build an AWD turbo hatchback, I'll sign up to buy one right now.
Unlike you trolls, I have an agenda, and I help get shit done.
I still have NO idea what you're trying to promote.

60

Hey bozo! Why are you against homologation? I'm curious.

61

Of course I love to race my own cars! I've never once raced on a public road. Always closed course events.
You don't love the sport of rally (or any sport) unless you actually DO it…
That's like saying you love motocross, but you've never owned a dirtbike… how fucking pathetic is your life…
If you ever decide you love rally enough to go join an event, you'll be buying a Subaru, and pretending you never typed a bunch of stupid shit on speed hunters.

62

Gruppe B had homologation rules, nitwit. The only generation without homologation is this one.

63

I was talking about Monte Carlo, not Africa you dumb fuck. They don't even go to Africa anymore.
You say you want to bring rallying to regular people, yet when I suggest some regular people should do Monte Carlo in some regular cars, FOR FUN, you have nothing but negativity.
Look at the way you've behaved in this thread. Ad homonym attacks on people just because they don't feel as strong about homologation as you do, shitting on the idea of having a couple drifters do a rally just because you're elitest attitude doesn't allow you to believe that someone from another disciple could possible participate....you're a fucking lunatic.
For someone who claims to "get shit done", the only thing you've managed to do here is to turn off a couple potential new rally fans. Is that your mission, to make rallying less popular? And why tbe fuck are you being such an angry cunt about all this?

64

I don't think anyone is "against homologation," as long as it doesn't reduce manufacturer interest.
I think most of us are against your shitty attitide. Grow the fuck up kid.

65

bakayaru Impreza was never really competitive around here so they are quite hard to come by.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gZ9rPEAIck

66

Homologation is always against a manufacturers interest, Twitchy. Why spend money actually building good cars, when you can just pay for a few kit cars?
You're the one who started swearing and having a shit attitude.
I'll bet you don't even own a car.

67

By competitive, you must mean sales. I should've known you lived in Poland. Now it all makes sense.

68

bakayaru "I'll bet you don't even own a car."...And you dare saying you are not a troll? You just have proven what was said about you.

69

bakayaru Oh my god you really never stop right? You're pathetic, seriously.

70

Vittorio Jano Don't waste your time with that person it's not worth it.

71

Blake Jones As a moderator, can you do something about bakayaru ? This person is using the coment sections to insult people into almost all of their messages. Thank you.

72

bakayaru there's a difference between a good discussion on competing viewpoints and outright insulting other commenters. One is acceptable here, the other is not. Take a break.

73

Gerard77 Blake Jones bakayaru yes, this kind of insulting behaviour isn't constructive or interesting for anyone. I'm cleaning up the comments section to reflect that.

74

Landon . I can see what your saying... Fred `s report is neat... on friday I got a top of the range Ariel Atom from bringing in $5137 recently and just over $10k lass month . it's certainly the nicest-job I've had . I started this 9-months ago and right away began to bring home minimum $69, per-hour.http://www.woltcash.com/

75

bakayaru As in new rally car. Group N was mostly dominated by Mitsubishi through out the 90s an 00s. Group A and later WRC was mostly Ford vs. Toyota. You got the country wrong, but I understand. It's not your fault that your education system sucks

76

bakayaru We're going to give you one chance to tone it down and behave like an adult. Insulting other users and calling them trolls will not be tolerated. There will not be a second warning.

77

bakayaru Nah man,I am for homolagtion. almost all my dream cars are homologation special. Be it Group B rally cars or Group A.  The reason why Im not so much into today wrc is because you can't buy the same rally monster with 4wd. 
Can I see your Impreza?

78

Hey y'all: Can we not get all youtube/facebook in the comments? It's gonna kill the net...
Keep it about the cars!

79
EdgarSanchezBrambila

Twitch_6  RWD rally cars is always good

80

What is that white car in the background of the first picture?

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