The team is full of Finns, including both drivers, the test driver, and Tommi Mäkinen as team principal.

Toyota will make its return to the World Rally Championship with a competition-prepped Yaris that will sport a rear wing that’s likely visible from the International Space Station. Jari-Matti Latvala and Juho Hänninen will pilot the team’s two-car entry this season. The rallying will kick off with the Rally Monte-Carlo that will run from January 19 – 22. The Japanese automaker last competed in the WRC in 1999.

Following the latest WRC rules, the Yaris uses a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The mill produces over 375 horsepower (280 kilowatts) and more than 314 pound-feet of torque (425 Newton-meters). A six-speed sequential gearbox sends power to an all-wheel-drive system that features a mechanical differential at both axles and an active center differential for shuffling the grunt between the front and rear. The brakes are liquid cooled for dealing with the punishment of a rally stage.

2017 Toyota Yaris WRC

Toyota looks to have put serious development time into perfecting the Yaris WRC’s aerodynamics. The design features complicated mirror stalks with door horizontal elements for directing air around the machine. The real magic is at the rear, though. A double-decker wing sprouts from the tail, and should produce plenty of downforce for keeping the car stuck to the road. For added help, the massive diffuser dominates the rest of the back’s real estate that the wing doesn’t occupy.

2017 Toyota Yaris WRC

In addition to the pair of Finnish drivers, Toyota has WRC legend Tommi Mäkinen as the team principal. "The new regulations allow for much greater freedom in terms of development. Although we have yet to explore all the possibilities, we can say that the car is reliable and quick,” he said. This year’s WRC 2 Champion Esapekka Lappi is helping further the Yaris’ development by acting as the crew’s test driver.

The new Ford Fiesta and Hyundai i20 will be among the Yaris’ competitors this season in the WRC. Both of them look mean but neither have the Toyota’s wild aerodynamics.

Source: Toyota

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