The Japanese brand has been developing a GR Yaris with Rally2 specification for more than a year in order to establish a rally customer program in the future.
Developed by the FIA, the four-wheel drive Rally2 formula has proven to be a popular and affordable class, forming the basis of the second-tier WRC2 category of the World Rally Championship.
In addition to several national championships, Rally2 vehicles also form the premier class in the European Rally Championship.
With the unveiling of the GR Yaris Rally2, Toyota joins Hyundai, Ford, Skoda, Citroen and Volkswagen already active in the Rally2 arena.
Four-time World Rally Champion Juha Kankkunen was invited to demonstrate the vehicle in its first official public appearance on Saturday at the Super Special Stage in Okazaki City.
The GR Yaris Rally2 will undergo an extensive testing and development program next year. It is unclear when the car will be available for purchase.
Toyota Rally2 concept car
Photo by: Toyota Racing
“It’s very exciting. It’s great that Toyota is looking at a customer program for the future and will be testing this car next year and hopefully we’ll have it in the hands of customers in the future,” said Toyota WRC boss Jari-Matti Latvala.
“I think we have a very good base car to start with with the GR Yaris. I’m confident that we can build a good car.”
“If you think back to those days, Rally1 is a very expensive car and many privateers can’t afford it.
“I think Rally2 is something that is affordable and nowadays that’s the place for the younger drivers.
“That’s the class where you want to show your potential to move up to Rally 1 and that’s why it’s a very important class.”
Alongside the unveiling of the Rally2 concept car, Toyota also unveiled its GR Yaris hydrogen-powered rally car, driven by four-time world champion Tommi Makinen.
The car made its public debut at the Ypres Rally Belgium in August with Kankkunen at the wheel.