A high-ranking Toyota executive has confirmed the Japanese firm plans to build a Gazoo Racing-branded hot hatch based on the recently revealed new Yaris.
Speaking to Auto Express, Toyota Europe executive vice-president Matt Harrison said the firm was keen to closely link the latest version of the light hatchback with the nameplate's recent success in the World Rally Championship.
“With the GRMN we tried to establish more of a link to the rallying,” Harrison told the publication, making reference to a limited-edition performance version of the outgoing European-spec Yaris.
“It was interesting exercise. We learned a lot. And it showed clear demand from a different group of influencers – not traditional Yaris customers,” he said.
Harrison added the new-generation range would include GR-branded variants with more power as well as GR Sport derivatives typically featuring styling and suspension upgrades.
“The strategy is that there will be GR products that are dynamically different – tuned, with more power. And GR Sport versions that link to it but which are easier and cheaper to run as everyday cars.
“You won’t have to wait too long [for us] to show you some thoughts we have for Gazoo. It’ll be in the next few months. But in our minds we need to build a stronger connection between success on the track, and the road cars. We’ve got to build a stronger link,” he said.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.