Toyota’s World Rally Championship drivers – Kalle Rovanperä and Sébastien Ogier – have created their own versions of the latest GR Yaris hot hatch.
Two new Toyota GR Yaris special editions designed by – and named after – Toyota’s World Rally Championship (WRC) race drivers have been unveiled.
Limited to 100 examples each – which will be exclusively sold in Japan – the Kalle Rovanperä and Sébastien Ogier editions bring unique exterior, interior and mechanical changes to Toyota’s updated GR Yaris hot hatch.
Rovanperä and Ogier have won two consecutive WRC driver’s titles each (2022-23 and 2020-21 respectively), and have helped Toyota win the WRC manufacturers’ championship for the past three years in a row.
Both vehicles have unique all-wheel-drive mode selectors tailored to each driver’s preferences – including a ‘Donut’ mode in the Rovanperä edition.
The Kalle Rovanperä Edition is differentiated by a unique red, white and black livery, a carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) adjustable rear spoiler, “constant-velocity rear differential gears”, and a Rovenpera Edition badge on the tailgate.
Meanwhile the Sébastien Ogier Edition receives Matte Stealth Grey paint, French flags on the front grille, 18-inch BBS wheels, a CFRP “lightweight rally spoiler”, Ogier Edition tailgate badge, and blue brake calipers.
Both special editions score “WRC victory commemorative decals” on the front wheel arches, Toyota Gazoo Racing badges on the wheels, and Toyota Gazoo Racing decals on the doors – as well as on the rear bumper on the Rovanperä edition.
Inside, the Kalle Rovanperä Edition gains blue and grey seat, shifter and handbrake stitching, while the Sébastien Ogier Edition has grey seat, shifter and handbrake stitching.
Both cars have commemorative badges on the dashboard, and the steering wheels in each vehicle are stitched to reflect each driver’s national flag – blue and grey for Finland-born Rovanperä, and blue, grey and red for France’s Ogier.
The Gravel and Track modes are replaced in the Kalle Rovanperä Edition by Donut and Kalle modes, while the Sébastien Ogier Edition swaps them for Morizo and ‘Seb.’ settings.
The wording used to explain each mode in Toyota’s press release is ambiguous, however it appears they do the following:
- Morizo Mode, Ogier Edition: Splits the power 50:50 front-to-rear under acceleration, and “relaxed only as necessary during braking”, a setting developed by Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda.
- Seb. Mode, Ogier Edition: A rear-biased torque split under acceleration to “provide a sense of oneness with the vehicle” and “contribute to shorter race times.”
- Donut Mode, Rovanperä Edition: Locks-in a 50:50 front-to-rear torque split to “ensure slide control during drifting”.
- Kalle Mode, Rovanperä Edition: Uses the unique rear differential to “aggressively [swing] out the vehicle’s rear when entering a curve and [pull] forward the vehicle’s front using the accelerator when exiting a curve, contributing to shorter race times.”
There are unique graphics in the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster to represent each mode.
There are no changes to the engine, which remains a 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder that now develops 224kW and 400Nm in 2024 models, matched with a six-speed manual transmission.
The 100 examples of each special edition will be available through a lottery, which does not include the vehicle itself, but only gives buyers the opportunity to purchase one.
For the lucky 200 customers that are able to purchase a car, Toyota is bundling in tickets to the Japan round of the WRC later this year, with “interaction with the drivers and other team members,” a “WRC car viewing and pit tour” and the ability to spectate the rally stages.
It also allows buyers to have their name printed on the WRC race cars at “selected rounds” of the 2024 rally season, and includes “special commemorative gifts”.
The Toyota GR Yaris Kalle Rovanperä and Sébastien Ogier editions will be exclusive to Japan.