Aichi, Japan: After a long hiatus from the WRC Toyota are finally making a comback to rally, if only at the lowest possible level of competition. Rather than coming in with a full bore WRC level car/team, Toyota will offer an entry level package for their Yaris.
“It is a great thrill for TMG to return to rallying, a discipline in which we enjoyed a great deal of success in the past. The TMG Yaris R1A is a completely different project compared to our WRC past; it is an affordable but exciting car which makes rallying’s major events accessible to a whole range of participants. We have already received numerous enquiries about this car so we know there is a huge appetite in the rally world for a new Toyota; I hope this is the start of a new rally dynasty at TMG”, said the Toyota Motorsport president, Yoshiaki Kinoshita.
The new Yaris will run as a “zero car” at the 2012 Rallye Deutschland driven by Bavarian two time “Ladies’ World Champion, Isolde Holderied. Holderied has been working with Toyota since 1996. Having Isolde drive the car on its debut rally is good move by Toyota as they will surely be marketing the package to young ladies who are entering the sport.
No doubt that Toyota are already planning further development in hopes of getting the same traction and interest that Ford has achieved with the introduction of the Fiesta R2.
The TMG Yaris R1A will cost approximately 22,500 Euros and before the end of the year Toyota expects it to become the first car in the world to be awarded FIA R1A (up to 1400cc) homologation. This qualifies the car to compete on regional, national and international competitions all the way up to FIA World Rally Championship level. There is no word at this time will the car or package be available in the USA.