300HP 2017 Toyota Yaris WRC Marks Return to Top-Flight Rally Racing

 Toyota is coming back to the World Rally Championship is search of even more podium glory!  Over the previous Toyota Team Europe racing campaigns, the big T racked up an extremely impressive 43 victories before bowing out after the 1999 season.

For 2017, Toyota is back with a TMG-fettled Yaris hatchback to take on dominant players like Citroen and VW.

2017 Toyota Yaris WRC


World Rally Championship return for Toyota

Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) will return to the FIA World Rally Championship in 2017 with a car developed and built entirely at its technical centre in Cologne.

Over the next two years TMG will continue its test programme with the Yaris WRC in preparation for a return to the series in which it won four drivers’ and three manufacturers’ world championships in the 1990s.

The news was announced today by Akio Toyoda, Toyota Motor Corporation President, at a news conference where the Yaris WRC made its public debut, in its new launch livery.

The Yaris WRC has already completed a preliminary test programme on Tarmac and gravel stages across Europe, establishing a promising baseline on which to build over the coming months.

The car features a 1.6-litre turbocharged, direct injection engine producing more than 300bhp. Its chassis has been formed using advanced simulation, testing and production techniques.

Now that an official WRC programme has been confirmed, development will be expanded and the dedicated team of specialists to engineer and run the car will be increased.

Several young drivers have already tested the car and Frenchman Eric Camilli, 27, has been selected as the first member of a junior driver development scheme, designed to nurture the Toyota rally stars of the future.

Camilli will carry out the development programme alongside Stéphane Sarrazin, winner of last year’s Tour de Corse and a racer in Toyota’s FIA World Endurance Championship team, and Sebastian Lindholm.

The programme will include several European WRC venues, with different surfaces. The experience gained will help Toyota’s preparation of the car for the 2017 season, when updated championship regulations are expected to be introduced.

The Yaris WRC follows an illustrious line of Toyota WRC cars and its 2017 debut will come 18 years after Toyota’s final WRC rally, in 1999.

That season marked the end of more than 25 years’ continuous rally activity at TMG, which began life as Andersson Motorsport, named after the company’s founder, the late Ove Andersson, and which competed in the WRC as Toyota Team Europe.

During that time the team achieved 43 wins, with celebrated cars such as the Celica Twin-cam Turbo and GT-Four and the Corolla WRC. The line-up of legendary drivers included Carlos Sainz, Juha Kankkunen and Didier Auriol.

Yoshiaki Kinshita, TMG President, said: “It is a great honour to be asked to bring the Toyota name back to the World Rally Championship alongside our continued participation in the World Endurance Championship.

“To run two works motorsport programmes simultaneously is of course a challenge but we believe we have the expertise and determination to succeed. There is much to do as we make the journey back to WRC but to have received the support of Toyota Motor Corporation and our President Akio Toyoda is already very encouraging.

“We are looking forward to taking the next steps with an extensive development plan and a junior driver development programme. It is an exciting time and we are looking forward to this new challenge with great anticipation.”




Steel body shell


300mm discs (gravel)355mm discs (Tarmac)


7 x 15in (gravel)8 x 18in (Tarmac)




Length (mm)


Width (mm)



Engine type

Four-cylinder in-line



Direct injection pressure

Up to 200bar



Max. turbo pressure


Air restrictor


Max. power

300bhp @ 6,000rpm (approx..)

Max. torque


Max. revs



Six-speed sequential


ZF Sachs


1973    Manufacturers’ Championship: 10th (1 win)

Toyota’s first victory, Walter Boyce/Doug Woods driving a Corolla TE20 on the Press On Regardless Rally (United States)

1974    Manufacturers’ Championship: 4th

Future World Champion Björn Waldegaard makes his Toyota debut

1975    Manufacturers’ Championship: 7th (1 win)

First victory for TTE with Hannu Mikkola/Atso Aho driving a Corolla Levin in the 1000 Lakes Rally (Finland)

1976    Manufacturers’ Championship: 6th

1977    Manufacturers’ Championship: 3rd

1978    Manufacturers’ Championship: 6th

1979    Manufacturers’ Championship: 5th

1980    Manufacturers’ Championship: 7th

1981    Manufacturers’ Championship: 8th

1982    Manufacturers’ Championship: 5th (1 win)

TMG founder Ove Andersson drives in WRC for the last time, driving a Celica 2000GT

1983    Manufacturers’ Championship: 6th (1 win)

1984    Manufacturers’ Championship: 4th (1 win)

First Safari Rally (Kenya) victory with Björn Waldegaard/Hans Thorzelius driving a Celica Twin-cam Turbo (TA64)

1985    Manufacturers’ Championship: 5th (2 wins)

1986    Manufacturers’ Championship: 6th (2 wins)

Toyota’s third successive Safari Rally win, with Björn Waldegaard/Fred Gallagher driving a Celica Twin-cam Turbo (TA64)

1987    Manufacturers’ Championship: 7th

1988    Manufacturers’ Championship: 5th

Introduction of the Celica GT Four, which would go on to win 29 WRC rallies and six World Championships (two manufacturers’ and four drivers’) in its ST165, ST185 and ST205 guises

1989    Manufacturers’ Championship: 2nd (1 win)

Carlos Sainz makes his Toyota debut, competing in seven rallies and finishing on the podium in three

1990    Manufacturers’ Championship: 2nd (5 wins)

Carlos Sainz becomes Toyota’s first drivers’ World Champion, at the wheel of a Celica GT-Four (ST165)

1991    Manufacturers’ Championship: 2nd (6 wins)

Toyota’s’ first victory in the legendary Monte Carlo Rally

1992    Manufacturers’ Championship: 2nd (5 wins)

1993    Manufacturers’ Championship: 1st (7 wins)

Toyota becomes the first Japanese company to win the World Rally Championship

1994    Manufacturers’ Championship: 1st (5 wins)

Toyota achieves a second hat-trick of Safari Rally wins, with Ian Duncan driving a Celica Turbo WRC

1995    Manufacturers’ Championship: 3rd, disqualified (1 win)

1998    Manufacturers’ Championship: 2nd (3 wins)

After a two-season absence, Toyota wins on its return at the first attempt, in the Monte Carlo Rally, thanks to Carlos Sainz/Luis Moya in a Corolla WRC

1999    Manufacturers’ Championship: 1st (1 win)

Toyota’s third manufacturers’ World Championship; only two companies have won more in WRC history

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.

He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.

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