Special editions are always a special treat, but having the DNA of a Toyota Gazoo Racing team driver imprinted on your car is quite something.
Numerous successes have built the Toyota Gazoo Racing division a very good reputation, which has brought a large group of loyal fans. They can also enjoy the knowledge gained in motorsport in a wide range of dynamically tuned models. Akio Toyoda was thinking about how to thank his supporters when he came up with a brilliant idea.
He approached Sébastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanperä, WRC world champions of the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team, to put their driving skills and experience into the special editions of the GR Yaris. Toyota then presented the finished cars at Rallye-Monte Carlo, the opening race of this year’s WRC. Although the production capacity will be limited, it is said that it will reach the European markets as well.
The cars are based on the concept specification, presented last year at the Tokyo Motor Show, with exterior and interior improvements and special tuning of driving modes. In both cases, under the hood is a turbocharged three-cylinder with a volume of 1.6 liters with an output of 280 horsepower and a torque of 390 Nm. The power is sent to both axles by a six-speed manual transmission.
The Ogier Edition GR Yaris design catches the eye at first glance with its Stealth gray matte paint, massive rear wing and dark 18-inch BBS wheels. In addition to the Toyota Gazoo Racing lettering, the collar is decorated with the French flag, which also appears on the front fascia as a reference to Ogier’s origins. The racing driver is also remembered on the car with WRC stickers on the fenders, the trunk lid and a plaque in the interior on the dashboard in front of the passenger. The tricolor of the native country is also reminiscent of the combination of upholstery stitching. The digital instrument panel has undergone a graphic modification including new driving modes and all-wheel drive settings.
You can use Morizo mode on unpaved surfaces, where it helps the car maintain consistent control during acceleration and braking. The Seb mode supports controlled sideways driving, where the torsen limited-slip differential together with the all-wheel drive can push the rear of the car to the side.
The GR Yaris Rovanperä Edition has a wilder graphic design based on the design of the pilot’s helmet. The wheels are the same, but the rear adjustable spoiler has a different shape. Otherwise, the GR Yaris has the same wheels and personalized decals. In addition to rallying, Rovanperä also loves drifting, and the car is adapted to this style of driving.
It has a mode for performing “doughnuts” and another for a controlled door-first corner exit, where you throw the rear to the side and let the front wheels pull you out of the corner. The gears of the rear differential have also adapted to this purpose. The interior has the same design, differing only in the signature on the plaque and stitching in the Finnish national colors.