Thursday | 13 Feb 2020

Toyota tests 2021 Yaris

Fans at Toyota Gazoo Racing’s pre-Rally Sweden test certainly got more than they bargained for when they stood stageside to watch team drivers fine-tuning their Yaris for round two.

Spectating at a test can be a fairly frustrating business. Unlike a rally, there’s no prescribed timetable for a team to run to. You turn up soon after sunrise in the knowledge that, beyond an early sighting run, the morning could be sacrificed to a mixture of suspension and transmission changes.

Outside a team’s inner sanctum, nobody knows when anything will be coming down the road before you.

So, imagine the surprise for Finns on the roads close to Puuppola when something completely different flew by. That something completely different was driven by Jari-Matti Latvala’s co-driver in Sweden this week, Juho Hänninen.

VIDEO: TOYOTA YARIS 2021 TEST

The team’s hierarchy is keen to stay silent on what the stylishly camouflaged car was.

But there’s no doubt it was the first test of Toyota’s 2021 GR-based Yaris WRC.

Toyota will reveal its all-new road-going Yaris later this year and the most sought after of all those new Toyotas will be the four-wheel drive hot-hatch GR version.

Kris Meeke has driven the GR Yaris road car at the Estoril circuit in Portugal and he’s a fan.

“To see Toyota getting back into creating a sports car with a rally car theme to it, it’s certainly got us excited, it’s nice to play with,” he said.

“To come to Estoril, to see the finished product which will become the new Yaris rally car is great. There’s many things on the new generation Yaris (road car) that will help the designers of the new World Rally Car.

“Coming from a rally car background where everything is bespoke to incorporate a little of that into a road car and give you that feeling…the car’s fantastic.”

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