Sun | Nov 19, 2017

Toyota Teases High-Performance Yaris

Published:Sunday | January 8, 2017 | 12:00 AM

When you think of hot hatches, chances are that the Toyota Yaris isn't the first vehicle that comes to mind. But maybe that will soon change as Toyota intends to bring a performance-oriented Yaris to global markets.

Toyota posted a sketch of a Yaris hot hatch on its European social media pages, and it looks promising. The Yaris has remained virtually unchanged since the latest generation debuted for the 2012 model year on our shores. In the current version, the Yaris packs a 1.5-litre inline-four engine making 106hp and 103lb-ft of torque. Other engines that are available in Europe make about the same amount of hp or less.

Developing a go-fast Yaris is possible because of the Yaris WRC. After a 17-year absence, Toyota is returning to the World Rally Championship (WRC) with a special Yaris equipped with a turbocharged,

1.6-litre I-4 engine that the automaker says makes over 375hp and 313lb-ft of torque.

"Toyota will use experience gained from its full-blooded return to the WRC to develop and improve its road-car technology and expand the Yaris range with a new performance-focused model, previewed in the sketch," the automaker said on its UK blog site.

Toyota told us that it can't comment on whether the performance-oriented Yaris would make its way to the US. We'd be anxious to see how it would compete with formidable rivals like the Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen GTI.