The Tokyo Auto Salon 2023 is in full swing and there are several exciting debuts for fans of JDM performance. If you’re a World Rally Championship fanatic, Toyota has some cool rally-themed GR Yaris concepts to show off – some of which will go into production.
There are actually four specialties GR Yaris vehicles in Toyota’s exhibition this year. The GR Yaris RZ High-Performance Sebastien Ogier Edition Concept has a name that stretches beyond the hot hatchback’s small wheelbase, but WRC fans need no further explanation of what makes this concept so special. Ogier won the WRC Drivers’ Championship driving Toyota Gazoo Racing in 2021 and to honor that win, the GR Yaris features numerous upgrades with its name. But wait, there’s more.
Kalle Rovanpera won the WRC title in 2022 and also drove for Toyota. Additionally, WRC returned to Japan in 2022, as you guessed it – there’s another RZ high-performance model called the Kalle Rovanpera Edition Concept.
Both vehicles have exclusive exterior paint finishes. Ogiers wears a silver hue with blue brake calipers, and Rovanperas is a multi-colored design resembling his WRC car with red brake calipers. In addition, the special editions are identical with upgraded rear wings, special graphics and badging, and bespoke interior stitching. The mighty turbocharged three-cylinder engine gets a torque jump to 288 lb-ft, but there’s one final difference between them. Ogier and Rovanpera offer bespoke vehicle performance settings for the model that bears their name.
While they are street cars, the GR Yaris Rally2 Concept is a Toyota Gazoo Racing product. It’s a racing car built to Rally2 regulations. It will compete in the 2023 Japanese Rally Championship in the hands of Toyota and will be further developed in hopes of receiving homologation in January 2024.
Finally, there’s a GR Yaris at the show, outfitted with a host of new GR parts that will be available in the near future. Interior upgrades include a new steering wheel, shift knob, parking brake handle and seats. On the outside you’ll find a carbon fiber reinforced hood and engine cooling cover with NACA ducts. Suspension wise, a carbon fiber reinforced rear anti-roll bar is coming soon along with a set of racing shock absorbers.
While Toyota is calling the rally models Concepts, the special-edition Ogier and Rovanpera will go on sale in Japan sometime in the near future, likely later this year. The Rally2 Concept remains a concept, albeit a fully functional one, that will race.