The Japanese company, a legend in rallying, got into the sport in 1979 and left in 1999 after winning seven titles in ten years through the nineties with Carlos Sainz and Juha Kankkunen. The 2017 return is likely due to the regulation changes that year to allow more power than the roughly 300-horsepower in today's challengers and the switch to a fuel-flow formula to let manufacturers use different kinds of engines. Toyota has been sitting in on the WRC rules meetings, and the final slate of changes will be announced at the end of this year.
The Yaris that's been testing is powered by a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder that meets current regulations, but we can expect it to change somewhat before it's race-ready. TMG will test the car for the next two years, then it will go up against fellow manufacturers Volkswagen, Hyundai, and Citroën, as well as Fords run by M-Sport. There's video of the Yaris running solo through the Belgian countryside above, and a gallery of the coming car below.