A sporty Toyota Yaris could compete with the Ford Fiesta ST

Though a C-HR might make more sense in the American market.

  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
Toyota showed its Yaris WRC rally car at this year's Paris Motor Show, and as cool as it is, it also shines a light on how absolutely average the normal model is. According to AutoExpress, Toyota's European president and CEO, Johan van Zyl, wants to change that.

Van Zyl told the publication, "It's no use doing motorsport if you can't reflect it in your product." He also said that he wants something "that will reflect our participation in WRC." Since the Yaris will be the company's WRC car, AutoExpress made the logical conclusion that this could mean a high-performance Yaris is in the works. The publication noted that it would likely appear after the next-generation Yaris is released in 2018, and that it could use either a higher output Yaris hybrid powertrain, or a version of the turbocharged 1.5-liter engine Gazoo Racing used in the C-HR at the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring.

We would be more than happy to see that 180-horsepower mill under the hood of the Yaris. Coupled with the standard car's curb weight of roughly 2,300 pounds, we imagine it would be good bit of fun. And if Toyota really wanted to indulge in making something WRC-inspired, they could add all-wheel drive, which would give them a bragging point against the Fiesta ST.

As much as we like the idea of a hot Yaris, it could be a tough sell here. Even though it would only have the Fiesta ST for competition, WRC racing doesn't have as large of a fan base here as in Europe, and small hatchbacks aren't nearly as popular as small crossovers. But that could leave the door open for a fast C-HR to come here. We know it fits because the turbo four-cylinder AutoExpress suggested was in a race-prepped C-HR, and the fact it raced at the Nurburgring also would give it motorsports cred. Not only that, but it would be a natural competitor to the Juke NISMO and upcoming Soul Turbo. It probably wouldn't be as quick and agile as a Yaris version considering its larger size, but we'll take what we can get.

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