Text: Marcus De Guzman / Photos: Toyota | posted October 30, 2015 14:01
Toyota may release a more powerful variant of the Yaris to commemorate WRC comeback
Toyota appears to be setting its sights on the lucrative 'hot hatch' segment after CarAdvice recently reported that the brand is working on a hot hatch variant of the Yaris.
Apparently, Tetsuya Tada, Toyota's Chief Engineer in the Sport Vehicle Management Division, wants to release a production hot hatch that will coincide with Toyota's return to WRC by 2017.
“We need a real hot hatch for the Toyota brand. Because we, Toyota, already announced the comeback to WRC for 2017,” said Tada.
Exact details about the planned hot hatch were not revealed, though Tada did say it will be a turbocharged car. He also said that they will fit a compact turbocharger and it will still be a front wheel drive hatchback.
“Nowadays we don't need all-wheel drive,” added Tada.
Toyota plans to pit it squarely against the Ford's Fiesta ST and the Volkswagens Polo GTI.
Making an all-new hot hatch is not entirely new to Toyota, however, as the company already released the Japan-exclusive Vitz GRMN. Essentially a rebadged Yaris, it is driven by a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four that puts out 152 PS and 206 Nm of torque. Power is then transferred to the front wheels via a 5-speed manual gearbox.
Note: The first image pictured above is the Toyota Yaris WRC prototype