The 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon is in full swing, and there are several exciting debuts for JDM performance fans. If you’re a World Rally Championship follower, Toyota has a few rally-themed GR Yaris concepts, some of which will see production.
Toyota actually has four special GR Yaris vehicles on display this year. The GR Yaris RZ High Performance Sebastien Ogier Edition Concept has a name longer than the hot hatchback’s short wheelbase, but WRC fans need no further introduction to what makes this concept so special. Ogier won the WRC Drivers’ Championship in 2021, driving for Toyota Gazoo Racing, and to honor the win, the GR Yaris has a number of upgrades with his name on it. But wait, there’s more.
Kale Rowanpera won the WRC title in 2022, also driving for Toyota. What’s more, 2022 sees the WRC return to Japan with, you guessed it – another RZ high-performance model called the Kalle Rovanpera Edition Concept.
Both the vehicles have exclusive exterior paint finishes. Ogier’s wears a silver shade with blue brake calipers, and the Rovanpera has a multi-colored design similar to his WRC car with red calipers. In addition, the special editions are identical with upgraded rear wings, special graphics and badging, and distinctive interior stitching. The powerful turbocharged three-cylinder engine makes up to 288 pound-feet (390 Newton meters) of torque, but there is one final difference between the two. Ogier and Rovanpera provide vehicle performance specifications for their namesake model.
While these are road-going vehicles, the GR Yaris Rally2 Concept is a product of Toyota Gazoo Racing. It is a race car built to Rally2 regulations. It will compete in the 2023 Japanese Rally Championship in the hands of Toyota, undergoing further development with hopes of achieving homologation in January 2024.
Finally, there’s a GR Yaris on show equipped 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 an engine cooling cover with NACA ducts. Suspension-wise, a carbon fiber-reinforced rear sway bar is coming soon, along with a set of racing shocks.
While Toyota calls the rally models concepts, special editions of the Ogier and Rovanpera will go on sale in Japan in the near future, possibly sometime later this year. The Rally2 concept remains a concept, albeit a fully functional one that will involve racing.