The GR Yaris concept will come out of the shadows at next week’s event in Japan

Toyota has released this teaser image of what it calls a “fully tuned” version of its Gazoo Racing (GR)-developed Yaris supermini.

Set to be unveiled next week at the Tokyo Auto Salon, Toyota says the car represents its “continuing work to create ever-better cars bred from motorsport”.

Although no technical details have been released, the GR Yaris appears to borrow heavily on the styling of the Yaris Rally1 car that will compete for honours in this season’s FIA World Rally Championship.

Therefore, the four-wheel-drive hot hatch gets a heavily sculpted front bumper, sizeable air intake on the bonnet to cool the potentially up-rated 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, and substantial rear wing.

Also set to be shown to the world at the Tokyo Auto Salon is the GR GT3 concept car. Like the GR Yaris, Toyota claims the “technology and know-how gained” from its motorsport activities “is used in the creation of new cars for the road”.

Next week promises to be a busy one for the Japanese company as officials will also be in attendance at the official launch of the 2022 World Rally Championship in Austria.

There, the fruits of Toyota’s, Hyundai’s and M-Sport Ford’s labour over the past 12 months will be seen in public – disguise free – for the very first time.

From this season, Rally1 cars will marry a turbo petrol engine with a 134bhp e-motor that draws its power from a battery positioned in the boot. In ‘stage mode’ when the two set-ups join forces, the cars will produce more than 500bhp.

Newly-elected FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem will be a special guest at the event where drivers from each of the three teams will talk about their hopes for 2022. Team bosses are also expected to discuss how they hope to make the most of the cars’ cutting-edge hybrid systems.

FIA deputy secretary general sport Bruno Famin said: “Adopting hybrid power and fossil-free bio-fuel are two of the biggest advances in the sport’s history and a huge step towards achieving our overriding sustainability goals. The FIA has been working very hard on these developments, while also introducing significant safety innovations.”

The launch is being held five days before the WRC campaign gets underway at Rally Monte Carlo. TTaking place from January 20-23, the Monaco-based event is the first of thirteen rounds.

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