The GR Yaris Rally1 is out to prove that hybrids can kick dirt with the best of them

The most extreme version of the hot hatch yet?
by Drei Laurel | Jan 19, 2022
PHOTO: Toyota

The GR Yaris won’t just be kicking dirt when it takes to the French Alps this year. For 2022, the hot hatch is kicking its reliance on fossil fuels, too.

Toyota recently unveiled the successor to its 2021 World Rally Championship GR Yaris, showing off an aero-covered version that utilizes a 3.9kWh battery and a motor generator unit (MGU). Guys, give a warm round of applause for the GR Yaris Rally1.

Along with the battery and MGU (MGU), the GR Yaris Rally1 will be propelled by the familiar 1.6-liter turbocharged engine from last year’s WRC entry. Total output now surpasses 500hp, and perhaps more important, this rally car will run on sustainable fuel —a first for the FIA world championship, Toyota says.

Other details of note include a spaceframe chassis that offers improved protection to the hot hatch’s occupants, the return of a mechanical gearshift, and the ditching of an active center differential.

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Toyota also stressed that the new setup means its drivers will need to adapt to using hybrid tech in a rally setting. The past few weeks have been dedicated to preparing the vehicle for the stage in Monte Carlo, which will see the vehicle take on ice and snow.

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“As a team we have been working very hard to be ready, but nobody can know how the different cars compare against each other until we get to the first rally. We might also see a difference between the drivers who feel the most confident with their new cars and those who will still be finding that confidence,” Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team principal Jari-Matti Latvala said.

“There are a lot of changes for them to adapt to with how they drive and set up the cars. During testing, this has been maybe the most important thing for the team: That our drivers feel confident and comfortable behind the wheel.”

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You can catch the Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 make its debut during the Rally Monte Carlo on January 20. How do you think this hybrid will stack up compared to last year’s entry?

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PHOTO: Toyota
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