The poor little Yaris must be one of the most bullied cars on the road. With a pair of tiny 1.3-litre and 1.5-litre four-cylinder engines to select from that muster up, er, hardly any horsepower to speak of, it is hardly the peppiest model that Toyota sells. But, that looks like it is all about to change with this hot hatch that has just been teased by the Japanese giant.
Set to follow on the heels of the carmaker’s new World Rally Championship contender (they’re back in the racing series after 17 years away), the newbie could be powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine and have as much as 200 horses along with a sprint time of 0-100kph of around 6.5 seconds. That would put it in the same bracket as the Ford Fiesta ST - but it will need to handle really well and be as cheap as chips to really put a smile on our faces. Toyota have done it before with the brilliant 86, but can they repeat the trick with a Yaris?
Toyota says that the new 375 horsepower WRC car “will have a direct impact on expanding the Yaris line-up with a performance oriented version.” The teaser image shows plenty of sporty features such as an aero kit, large rear wing, bigger brakes and wheels but we doubt the production version - which will likely bear the name of its factory race team, Gazoo - will have a multi-coloured paint job.
With the current gen Yaris to be facelifted next year, the madder variant probably won’t show its angry face until late 2017 or early 2018.