Mysterious renderings of the Toyota Yaris have surfaced in China, leaving us to wonder what, if anything, will become of the modified hatchback pictured from the front, side, and rear.
From the front view, the spindle grille tacked onto the front fascia gives the Toyota a Lexus-like appeal. The side profile and rear shot reveal a body kit, a lowered stance, and an aggressive set of wheels. With the Toyota Motorsport GmbH division in Germany already tinkering and preparing a version of the hatchback for rally racing, a sportier Yaris could make sense in certain markets. The TMG Yaris includes a number of modifications including a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Toyota hopes to race in WRC by 2014. While a Lexus-fied Yaris seems like a stretch, we wouldn’t mind seeing it out on a rally race, where it would like gain more accolades than the Yaris SE model featured on a recent edition of Editor’s Notebook. Here’s a tidbit from associate editor Eric Tingwall’s notebook:
“I’m reluctant to parrot Toyota’s advertising, but there’s more than an ounce of truth in the ‘Yaris — It’s a car!’ campaign. During my night with the Yaris, I verified that it does indeed have four wheels, a steering wheel, and a gasoline engine. It also has a steering column that doesn’t telescope and a four-speed automatic transmission, which were two of the key factors preventing Toyota from pursuing the alternative tagline, ‘It’s a competitive car!’”