Homologation Special: Toyota Teases Yaris GR-4

Toyota has teased the upcoming GR Yaris Prototype, scheduled to debut at the Rally Australia on November 17th. Based on the TNGA Yaris, we’re unlikely to see it stateside. However, Toyota expanding its Gazoo Racing lineup is still good news. The bigger it gets, the more likely we are to finally get one here.

Dubbed the GR-4, the vehicle appears to be a homologation car, allowing Toyota to run in the 2020 World Rally Championship. That WRC connection also means all-wheel drive and an amped-up powertrain are practically guaranteed.

With the debut relatively near, Toyota isn’t interested in giving away many details. But we can clearly see from the teaser image that the GR-4 has some seriously flared wheel arches — at least in the rear — and a lowered roofline. It’s going to be a very different animal from any Yaris previously encountered.

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The Big, Bad, Automatic Benz That Took on the WRC - the C107

In 1978, Mercedes-Benz made the decision to expand its efforts in rally competition. But its choice of platform to enter into the World Rally Championship was, to say the least, unique.

At the time, the WRC was dominated by small sedans like the Fiat 131 Abarth and Ford Escort RS1800 — cars that finished first and second in the championship that year. Mercedes-Benz took a decidedly different route, as it had no small sporty sedan.

What it did have was a large, heavy and expensive personal luxury coupe in the C107 SLC. While the choice would seem unnatural, under the direction of Erich Waxenberger the premier 450SLC was prepared and developed over the next few seasons into a rally winner.

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Toyota Returning To WRC With 2017 Yaris, Homologation Special Planned

Find the Toyota Yaris a bit ho-hum? Thanks to FIA’s homologation rules for the World Rally Championship series, it soon won’t be.

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How Much Does Homologation Really Cost?

Being teased with a desirable but unavailable variant of a car sold on our shores is as inevitable as death and taxes. Every year, there is some new supercar station wago n, ultra-efficient diesel or hot hatch/rally special that seems just within our grasp. Inevitably we learn that it won’t be making its way to America for a variety of reasons. Ultimately, it boils down to one simple factor: it would cost too much to bring it over.

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The Chinese Are Coming: Part One: A Tale Of Two Nobles

For years now the Chinese automakers have been the bête noir of the global car industry, inspiring equal parts fear and contempt in boardrooms and editorial meetings from Detroit to Stuttgart. In an industry built on scale, China’s huge population and rapid growth can not be ignored as one scans the horizon for dark horse competitors. And yet no Chinese automaker has yet been able to get even a firm toehold in the market China recently passed as the world’s largest: the United States.

Certainly many have tried, as the last decade is littered with companies who have tried to import Chinese vehicles, only to go out of business or radically rethink their strategy (think Zap for the former and Miles/CODA for the latter). Others, like BYD (or India’s Mahindra), have teased America endlessly with big promises of low costs and high efficiency, only to delay launch dates endlessly. In short, a huge gulf has emerged between overblown fears of developing world (particularly Chinese) auto imports and the ability of Chinese automakers to actually deliver anything. No wonder then, that we found what appears to be the first legitimate attempt at importing Chinese cars to the US quite by accident…

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  • Eric Here’s a couple of pics.
  • Eric The shock towers have the typical rust, the body is very straight surprisingly , little surface rust at the bottom of the quarter panels but not too bad. The interior isn’t as bad as it looks, I’ll throw on a dash cover and I think it will clean up nicely. I’ve owned an MN12 for almost 20 years now, this is my first fox platform, it’ll be a great restoration project!
  • EBFlex So all the reasons that were present and caused Ford to substantially raise prices less then a year ago are no longer present? What changed? Does it still cost Ford $25K more to make a fake Mustang than it does a comparable Edge? “The Michigan-based company cites “significant material cost increases,”  supply chain issues and changing demand for the new higher prices. ”So those issues are solved?
  • Stanley Steamer What is that white roadster in the background?
  • Bufguy The Seville was not an X car....Yes the Seville was based on the x car platform but the changes were so extensive that GM designated the platform “K,” because it very little in common with the X. Only the rear subframe, front suspension, part of the floor and the roof were carried over unchanged.