Hot hatch coming to global markets
When you think of hot hatches, chances are the Toyota Yaris isn’t the first vehicle that comes to mind. But maybe that will soon change, as Toyota intends to bring a performance-oriented Yaris to global markets.
Toyota posted a sketch of a Yaris hot hatch on its European social media pages, and it looks promising. The Yaris has remained virtually unchanged since the latest generation debuted for the 2012 model year on our shores. In the current version, the Yaris packs a 1.5-liter inline-four engine making 106 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque. Other engines that are available in Europe make about the same amount of hp or less.
Developing a go-fast Yaris is possible because of the Yaris WRC. After a 17-year absence, Toyota is returning to the World Rally Championship with a special Yaris equipped with a turbocharged, 1.6-liter I-4 engine that the automaker says makes over 375 hp and 313 lb-ft of torque.
“Toyota will use experience gained from its full-blooded return to the WRC to develop and improve its road car technology and expand the Yaris range with a new performance-focused model, previewed in the sketch,” the automaker said on its U.K. blog site.
— Toyota Europe (@toyota_europe) December 13, 2016
Toyota told us it can’t comment on whether or not the performance-oriented Yaris would make its way to North America. We’d be anxious to see how it would compete with formidable rivals like the Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen GTI.
Pictured below is the Yaris WRC.