Tokyo Auto Salon 2023 is in full swing, and there are some exciting debuts happening for JDM performance fans. If you’re a follower of the World Rally Championship, Toyota has some cool rally-themed GR Yaris concepts to show off – some of which are in production.
There are actually four special GR Yaris vehicles that Toyota is showing off this year. The GR Yaris RZ High-Performance Sebastien Ogier Edition Concept has a name that goes beyond the small-wheelbase hot hatchback, but WRC fans need no further introduction to what makes this concept special. Ogier won the WRC drivers’ championship in 2021 driving Toyota Gazoo Racing, and to honor that victory, the GR Yaris bearing his name features numerous improvements. But wait, there’s more.
Kalle Rovanpera won the WRC title in 2022, also racing for Toyota. Plus, 2022 sees the WRC return to Japan, so you guessed it – there’s another High Performance RZ model called the Kalle Rovanpera Edition Concept.
Both vehicles feature an exclusive exterior paint finish. Ogier wears silver with blue brake calipers, and Rovanpera wears a multi-colour design similar to his WRC cars with red calipers. Beyond that, the special edition is identical with an upgraded rear wing, special graphics and badges, and bespoke interior stitching. The mighty turbocharged three-cylinder engine gets a torque boost of up to 288 pound-feet (390 Newton meters), but there’s one final difference between the two. Ogier and Rovanpera provide bespoke vehicle performance settings for the models bearing their names.
Although it is a road-based vehicle, the GR Yaris Rally2 Concept is a product of Toyota Gazoo Racing. This is a race car built under Rally2 regulations. It will take part in the 2023 Japan Rally Championship at the hands of Toyota, undergoing further development with hopes of receiving homologation in January 2024.
Finally, there was the GR Yaris at the event which was equipped with a number of new GR parts that will be available in the near future. Interior upgrades include a new steering wheel, shift knob, parking brake grip and seats. On the outside, you’ll find a carbon fiber reinforced hood and an engine cooling cowl with NACA ducting. Suspension-wise, a carbon fiber reinforced rear sway bar is on the way, along with a set of racing shocks.
While Toyota touts the rally model as a concept, the Ogier and Rovanpera special editions will go on sale in Japan sometime soon, possibly later this year. The Rally2 concept remains a concept, albeit a fully functional one that will be used for racing.