Toyota’s long hoped-for return to the World Rally Championship is getting ever closer. The Japanese manufacturer left the WRC at the end of 1999 after four drivers’ and three manufacturers’ titles.
Since then, Toyota has competed in Formula 1 and the World Endurance Championship. The 1.6-litre, turbocharged, four-wheel-drive Toyota Yaris WRC has been in development for some time and was out testing earlier this week in Belgium.
In the hands of former Minardi F1, Subaru WRC and current Toyota WEC driver Stephane Sarrazin, the little Yaris shows some decent speed, despite the atrocious conditions (well, it is Belgium in September.)
The Yaris could make its competition debut as early as next year. Toyota will have to work hard to overcome the might of Volkswagen, but if anyone has the resources to do so, it’s Toyota.