Toyota AU just turned the GR Yaris into a rally machine

The rally car turned road car has been made into a rally car again
by Stephen Dobie | Mar 26, 2021
PHOTO: Toyota Australia
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The Toyota GR Yaris is supposed to be the road-going interpretation of a rally car. Well, Toyota Australia has turned it back into a rally car again. Meet the Toyota GR Yaris AP4, or the Toyota Gazoo Racing Yaris Asia-Pacific 4WD if you want the longhand.

It won’t compete at the World Rally Championship’s highest level, but rather the Rally 2 tier that sits below. So it’s a bit more attainable in both price and driveability.

It’s the fruit of a project between Toyota and Neal Bates Motorsport, headed up by the four-time Australian rally champion with his two sons—Harry and Lewis—on driving duties.

The Toyota GR Yaris AP4 Rally Car Roll Cage

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And Neal is very vocal about how ready for competition the wee Yaris already feels. It seems constructing a rally car from a homologation special is even more straightforward than you’d hope.

“Together with the compact turbo engine and all-wheel-drive system, the GR Yaris is a great base car compared to what we have worked with previously to create rally cars,” says Neal, before complimenting how helpful its lightweight aluminum doors and carbon roof are.

The Toyota GR Yaris AP4 Being Assembled

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There’s been a host of tweaks, too. A fiberglass hood and hatch, and new 3D-printed mirrors and Perspex windows help cut weight and hike up safety. A bespoke exhaust system and new 1.5-bar turbo help the stock three-cylinder engine meet AP4 regulations, with the road car’s 257hp and 360Nm set to rise, but to as yet unconfirmed levels.

It’s all hooked up to a Sadev six-speed sequential gearbox, naturally driving all four wheels, though the torque split is now locked in at 50:50 front and rear. A suspension overhaul allows much more travel for all those crests and compressions.

The Toyota GR Yaris AP4 Rally Car Body

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“People often think that a rally car is just a modified road car, but it really is a supercar for the gravel, the build process is identical to that of a Supercar,” says Neal.

Like what his team’s done with the hot hatch of the moment?

More photos of the Toyota GR Yaris AP4:

The Toyota GR Yaris AP4 Rally Car Being Calibrated

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The Toyota GR Yaris AP4 Rally Car in Development

The Toyota GR Yaris AP4 Rally Car Steering Wheel

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The Toyota GR Yaris AP4 Rally Car Pedals

The Toyota GR Yaris AP4 Rally Car Test Driven

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The Toyota GR Yaris AP4 Rally Car Front View

The Toyota GR Yaris AP4 Rally Car Angled Rear View

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The Toyota GR Yaris AP4 Rally Car on the dirt track

The Toyota GR Yaris AP4 Rally Car on the dirt track different angle

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The Toyota GR Yaris AP4 Rally Car after drive

NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: Toyota Australia
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