Toyota has dropped the first official teaser of the upcoming GR Yaris, the high-performance version of the new small hatchback that will be adorned with the Gazoo Racing badges.
Toyota Europe has shared an image of a camouflaged prototype on its social media, announcing the date and location of its official debut: November 17 at Rally Australia.
The hot Yaris will be shown in near-production prototype form, wearing the same red-black-white camouflage we’ve seen it using during its high-speed testing on the Nurburgring. The teaser image was also accompanied by the 'GR-4’ moniker, implying that this hot hatch might actually feature all-wheel drive.
Related: Is Toyota Readying A Hot, Gazoo Racing-Prepped Variant Of The 2020 Yaris?
Compared to the standard Toyota Yaris, the hot GR-4 variant is going to adopt a more aggressive bodywork, complete with blistered wheel arches, model-specific bumpers, a bigger front grille and a bigger wheel-tire package.
GR Yaris Prototype. Live at Wedding Bells, Rally Australia. 17.11.19. #GR4 #GR Yaris #TGRWRT #ToyotaGAZOORacing #WRC pic.twitter.com/aEs3cMxsVQ
— Toyota Europe (@toyota_europe) November 6, 2019
A few weeks ago Toyota Europe’s Executive VP, Matt Harrison said that an upcoming hot Yaris would be more related to Gazoo Racing’s success in motorsport, in this case rallying. "On selected vehicles we will look at a GR derivative, which is differentiated on these [performance] grounds – whether that’s displacement or whatever," Harrison said to Autocar in late October.
This indicates that the Gazoo Racing version could employ a bigger engine than the current flagship 1.5-liter four-cylinder unit, while the possibility of all-wheel drive gives us hopes that this could become something truly special.
The previous limited-production Yaris GRMN was powered by a supercharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder with 209 HP. All we have to do is wait until November 17 and see if Gazoo Racing will answer our prayers.