A Toyota exec has dropped a major hint about a possible sporty version of the Yaris.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the Tokyo Motor Show, Tetsuya Tada, Toyota’s chief engineer of the brand’s sport vehicle management division, commented the company must have a small hot hatch to compete with the best models in the class like the Ford Fiesta ST and VW Polo GTI.
“We need a real hot hatch for the Toyota brand,” he told the magazine. “Because we, Toyota, already announced the comeback to WRC for 2017. Yaris, what do you think about Yaris? I must create a real hot hatch, real hot hatch of Toyota.”
When asked about the engine that could power the hatch, he declared – “no, big turbo”. As for the powertrain configuration, he mentioned “nowadays we don’t need any all-wheel drive”, hinting at a front-wheel drive model.
More than two years ago, Toyota offered the Vitz GRMN in Japan – basically a rebadged version of the Yaris with 1.5-liter turbocharged petrol engine. It produces 152 PS (112 kW) and 206 Nm (152 lb-ft) under the hood and is mated to a standard 5-speed manual gearbox. The equipment includes sports brake system and suspension and 17-inch wheels in tires size 215/45R.