The Japanese marque has been developing a Rally2 version of its GR Yaris since last year as it bids to join the customer rally car market.
The GR Yaris Rally2 made its public debut at Rally Japan last year and has since undergone an extensive development programme ahead of its FIA homologation, which could begin this month.
Once homologated, the GR Yaris Rally2 will see Toyota join WRC rivals Hyundai and M-Sport-Ford in the Rally2 arena, alongside Skoda, Citroen and Volkswagen.
Toyota has stipulated that 2024 is the target for its Rally2 car to be available for competitors, with Latvala hopeful that as many as four cars could be ready for Monte Carlo in January.
Latvala has played an active role in the development of the GR Yaris Rally2. The 18-time WRC rally winner drove the car at July’s Goodwood Festival of Speed and recently piloted it to victory at Rally Hokkaido in Japan last month.
“It looks like we will try to do the homologation in October and then hopefully we can start production at the end of the year. Our target is to have the first cars in Monte Carlo,” said Latvala at Rally Chile.
“You need parts for sure but I think maybe we are talking in a realistic world maybe we could have three or four cars. I think four cars could be possible if everything goes well.”
Jari-Matti Latvala, Juho Hanninen, Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 concept
Photo by: Toyota
Speaking after his victory in the car at Rally Hokkaido, he added” “First of all, it’s very easy to drive. Every customer in the future, when this car comes, will be able to adapt to this car very easily.
“The engine has a lot of torque, which makes the drivability better, and there’s a lot of suspension travel, which works well over the bumps. The car is so stable and really strong. Thinking about next year with this car, I honestly think it’s going to be competitive.”
As to who will drive the GR Yaris Rally2 should it make its debut in Monte Carlo, Latvala said: “Of course, we are also looking at the teams and drivers that will be fighting for the top places in Rally2, so that is our interest. We will look at the teams and which drivers they have.”