If you had your hopes up, Toyota’s here to let them down: Confirmation today of an upcoming Toyota Yaris hot hatch has been followed by word that it is no sure thing for an Australian launch.
Although not an outright write-off for our market, a Toyota spokesperson has confirmed there are currently no plans to bring the souped-up Yaris here.
“Whilst we would love to have a hot hatch in our local line-up at some future point, we have no plans to introduce this product to the Australian range,” Toyota Australia public relations manager Steve Coughlan told CarAdvice today.
For now, fans will have to admire from afar.
The announcement of the new model’s production confirmation was made at the launch of the company’s 2017 WRC rally car, although details about the hot Yaris are scarce.
So far, Toyota has simply stated that it will “return to the ‘hot hatch’ market”, and that the new WRC car would “inspire an expansion of the Yaris line-up with a performance oriented version”.
Aside from a teaser sketch (above), the company provided no further information about the car.
The automaker was much more forthcoming about its entrant in the 2017 WRC season.
Officially known as the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC vehicle, it makes full use of the racing series’ 2017 regulations which allow for a wild and extensive aerodynamics fit out.
Under the bonnet, the Yaris WRC car has a 1.6-litre direct-injection engine pumping out around 285kW of power.
In launching the company’s new WRC entrant, Akio Toyoda, CEO of Toyota and team chairman, praised “fans who waited 17 years for this day”, while also paying tribute to those who brought rallying success to Toyota in the 1980s and 1990s, including team leaders Ove Andersson and Björn Waldegård, and drivers Carlos Sainz, Juha Kankkunen, and Didier Auriol.
UPDATE: This article has been updated with confirmation that the Yaris hot hatch is not currently on the cards for an Australian launch.