The two cars are named after Toyota's WRC-winning drivers.
Toyota revealed two new special editions of the famous GR Yaris at the Tokyo Auto Salon, and the two cars are named after Toyota's World Rally Championship drivers following Championship wins in 2021 and 2022.
The two cars are only concepts at this stage but are practically guaranteed to make production. Toyota will need a wider hatch at the rear to accommodate the names. Officially, the cars are called the GR Yaris Kalle Rovanpera Edition and GR Yaris Sebastien Ogier Edition.
The latter name might seem more familiar, as Ogier has been in the game for much longer. He started his career in WRC in 2009 with Citroen and has eight WRC Championship titles. Along the way, he scored 55 rally wins and 94 podium finishes. Ogier won his last title with Toyota in 2021.
Kalle Rovanpera is the current WRC Champion and the youngest ever to win the title. He has eight wins and 13 podium finishes, but he made all of them count. Aged 22, this young Finnish driver is the Max Verstappen of the rally world. He won his first rally at 17 years old.
The cars may be concepts at the moment, but Toyota's CEO, Akio Toyoda, recently let it slip that a production version of the Kalle Rovanpera is certainly in the pipeline.
Rovanpera's upcoming company car is the funkier of the two. It wears a livery inspired by the actual WRC racer, and it has the rear wing from the gnarly GRMN Yaris. Also note the black front splitter, gloss black alloys, and red brake calipers.
Ogier's car is more reserved but still angry enough to draw attention. It's painted matte grey and has blue brake calipers and a smaller rear spoiler.
The interiors are inspired by the flags of the drivers' home countries. Rovanpera's car is finished in blue and silver, while the Ogier Edition's blue, white, and red interior is extremely French. Unfortunately, Toyota has not provided images of these.
Both cars are equipped with the engine from the GRMN, unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Salon in 2022. The power output of the turbocharged triple remains the same at 268 horsepower, but the torque output was boosted to 288 lb-ft.
If these cars make it to production, we expect Toyota to use the more powerful 300-hp version used in the GR Corolla. We know Toyota is working on a more hardcore model, but also a softer version with FWD, as well as a detuned engine and an automatic gearbox to make the GR Yaris accessible across the board.
Unfortunately, all we can do is look, but the GR Corolla is a decent alternative if you're in the market for a serious hot hatch.