Say hi (from afar) to the turbocharged Yaris
HERE’S the good news: Toyota will break back into the hot hatch scene with a new Yaris boasting at least 157kW of turbo power. But here’s the bad: It won’t be coming to South Africa.
Nevertheless, it’s good to know that the Japanese brand accused of erring on the side of conservatism with recent models, is willing to get spicy again. Not since the RunX RSi of 2003 has Toyota made a hatch with more than 100kW (one locally-created Auris TRD aside), so this is a ballsy move for a company with a huge lineup of vanilla-flavoured cars.
The hot new Yaris, which will be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March, will almost certainly incorporate some motor racing technologies. Toyota united all of its official racing teams under one Gazoo-labelled umbrella, and besides its LMP1 class Le Mans effort and the South African-based Dakar bakkie squad, it’ll also compete in this year’s World Rally Championship with a Yaris WRC. We suspect the road-going version will at least share a 1.6-litre engine capacity with its roll-caged sibling.
The turbo Yaris was inspired by the WRC version, with similar black, red and white livery. Toyota’s not saying much else about the car yet, except that it’ll be launched alongside the rest of a revised Yaris range - which will be headed our way later this year.