Photo credit: Toyota Gazoo Racing

The 2017 World Rally Championship’s new cars are rowdy and insane, but the most extreme looking of them all may be Toyota Gazoo Racing’s origami-looking Yaris WRC, with its many aerodynamic layers upon layers. It’s so far beyond a regular Yaris that it’s basically sisu in car form.

The best Yaris ever has 380 horsepower thanks to an ear-piercingly loud 1.6-liter direct injection engine.

Testing. Photo credit: Toyota Gazoo Racing

There are so many aerodynamic mods to the humble little Yaris shell that I don’t even know where to begin to look. In addition to the extra air scoops and radiator space up front designed to keep the car cool and happy, there a massive, complicated rear wing, meaty canards, a big splitter, and those massive fender flares.

Photo credit: Toyota Gazoo Racing

There’s a curved part leading to that rear fender flare that echoes the curvature of the front canard.

Photo credit: Toyota Gazoo Racing

Then there’s those wild mirrors, which have a miniature double-decker wing element as its horizontal support.

Photo credit: Toyota Gazoo Racing

Incredibly, that’s not even the most extreme view of this car. Look at the rear. Those aren’t fender flares so much as they are cheese graters from this angle, spitting out air in a way that works with the massive diffuser and rear wing to suck the little Yaris to the ground.


It’s beautiful. I’d daily it. Give the rest of us a cool Yaris, Toyota. Fill that empty space in our soul left by the departure of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution from the market and the blobby roundification of the Suburu WRX STi. Give us the rally peanut.

Team principal Tommi Mäkinen and team chairman Akio Toyoda also think this car is rad. Photo credit: Toyota Gazoo Racing

The team’s thousands of hours of work for well over a year did not go into my morning coffee run, however—it went into hitting the ground (repeatedly, after flight) running at the WRC’s season opener, the Rally Monte Carlo.


Toyota wants its new rally car to win, so it hired not one, but three Finns to drive it, per a team announcement made today. Longtime Finnish rally driver Juho Hänninen and ex-Volkswagen Finn Jari-Matti Latvala will drive this wonderful car for the full season. Up-and-coming Finnish wonderchild and current WRC2 champion Esapekka Lappi will join the team throughout the season as their test driver.

The Toyota Gazoo Racing team principal is none other than Beast King of Finland Tommi Mäkinen, who won four WRC championships in a row between 1996 and 1999. They’re basically Team Finland.

More testing. Photo credit: Toyota Gazoo Racing

We can’t wait to see it in action, so here’s one of the latest videos of it in testing with yet another Finn Teemu Suninen behind the wheel. Enjoy!

Holy crap, this looks amazing—even on slick-looking muck.