The model, set to be a rally-inspired hot Yaris featuring four-wheel drive and badged 'GR-4', was due to be unveiled at Rally Australia earlier this month. However, the unveil was shelved with the event's cancellation due to devastating wildfires.
Although no reveal date is confirmed in the short video, it's described as the final test by Toyota's CEO Akio Toyoda, who is also the brand's Master Driver operating under the pseudonym 'Morizo'. It's now expected in the first few weeks of 2020, rather than later this year.
The machine will effectively succeed the previous generation’s limited-run Yaris GRMN as the range-topping version of the small hatch. The 4 in GR-4 is believed to stand for four-wheel drive, which would bring it in line with the Yaris WRC that the firm has fielded in the top level of world rallying since 2017. It is possible that the new car will serve as a ‘homologation special’, forming the basis for the next-generation Yaris WRC.
The new preview shows that its styling is familiar from the existing Yaris, but with the addition of far wider rear wheel arches and an aggressive bodykit to fit the car’s likely high performance brief. In a further nod to the car’s intent, it sports the camouflage livery used by most recent hot Toyota models of recent years, including the recently revived Supra.
At the launch of the revamped Yaris recently, Toyota’s executive vice-president, Matt Harrison, told Autocar that a performance version of the model would likely be launched to strengthen the link between Toyota’s road cars and its Gazoo Racing motorsport arm.