Toyota Debuts Two Hotter GR Yaris Models With WRC Driver Input
Developed with significant input from Sébastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanperä, these GR Yaris specials are far more than a title-winning marketing exercise. There are serious hardware and aero changes to sharpen up what's already one of the best driver's cars on sale at any price...don't expect this pair to come cheap however...
Hot on the heels of the newly upgraded GR Yaris, Toyota has also launched two new special editions of the car exclusively for limited markets. The all new GR Yaris RZ High Performance Sébastian Ogier and the Kalle Rovanperä edition will be limited to just 100 units each.
For anyone who does not follow rallying, the names of these special editions must be puzzling. However, there is method to the naming madness, these special editions are inspired by famous World Rally Championship drivers for Gazoo Racing, Sébastian Ogier and Kalle Rovanperä.
Revealed as concepts at the 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon, they have now been fully unveiled as production models at the opening of Rallye Monte-Carlo, the first event in Toyota’s defence of its World Rally Championship titles.
Hotter GR Yaris - The Ogier Edition
Both these highly bespoke editions are far more than just new paint schemes and custom decals. The Ogier Edition gets two new drive modes alongside the rudimentary ‘Normal’ mode. Morizo mode, is named after the Toyota Corporation Chairman, Akio Toyoda (aka ‘Morizo’) who is also a rally aficionado. This mode is calibrated to apply maximum strain on the front and rear tyres, leading to improved grip and cornering abilities.
The Seb mode, as the name suggests, has been personally developed by Sébastian and it makes the car rear biassed in terms of torque and power through its limited slip differential. This makes the rear of the car easier to be swung out and provide a truly enjoyable rally-like experience, with the aim of increasing the driver’s control and connection with the car.
Along with these important mechanical changes, the car also has a bespoke Matte Stealth Grey paint adorned with the French flag in the grille, to commemorate Ogier’s home country. The Ogier Edition also has a newly designed carbon fibre rear spoiler. The car also comes with an Ogier edition logo at the back and unique blue brake callipers.
Hotter GR Yaris - The Rovanperä Edition
This Edition also has two new driving modes, Donut and Kalle. Donut mode has been created by Toyota for the youngest WRC champion who loves his drifting and tyre shredding shenanigans.
This mode makes the car highly rear biassed, making donuts and burnouts a breeze. Kalle mode has been meticulously created by Rovanperä himself and is clever in its way of delivering power through both the limited slip differentials. It makes the rear of the car easier to be swung out in corner entries, and the front of the car to claw its way into the tarmac or gravel, providing better grip at corner exits. Potentially making the infamous Rally U-turns easily accomplishable to the 100 people lucky enough to own these.
This added agility is also helped by the unique constant-velocity rear differential gears. The car also has a bespoke three tone paint finish in red, white, and black, inspired by Kalle’s racing helmet. It is also fitted with a unique CFRP variable rear wing taken from the GRMN Yaris.
Both cars have exterior decals and stickers inspired by their respective drivers. They also have unique interior stitching; Red, white, and blue for the Ogier Edition (Colours of the French flag) and blue and grey for the Rovanperä edition (Colours of the Finnish flag).
Both cars come with 18 inch BBS wheels and a special commemorative plaque on the passenger side signifying TGR’s (Toyota Gazoo Racing) WRC victory. They also have revised digital instrument clusters to incorporate the new driving modes.
The brainchild behind the creation of these special cars is Mr. Akio Toyoda himself. As a skillful driver and the Chairman of the Toyota Motor Corporation, he wanted to express his gratitude to both the drivers for their World Championship victories and what a way to do so. It is incredible to see such passion for rallying being translated into something more than just paint schemes and decals. The already impressive GR Yaris has definitely been taken up a notch and we are all here for it!