Hybrid Toyota Yaris rally car revealed, ready to tackle Monte-Carlo

The GR YARIS Rally1: A new generation of hybrid rally car

The Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 is a brand-new rally car designed to the revolutionary new-for-2022 FIA Rally1 technical regulations, which represent rallying’s most significant technical overhaul for a generation. Rally1 cars replace World Rally Cars at the highest level of the WRC and feature a number of significant changes compared to their predecessors, including the introduction of technologies promoting sustainable motorsport. For the first time, the cars in rallying’s top category have hybrid electric power. The existing 1.6-litre direct-injection turbocharged engine – one of the only features of the previous generation of World Rally Cars to be carried over to Rally1 – is paired with a hybrid unit that is common to every competing car. The hybrid unit consists of a 3.9-kilowatt-hour battery coupled to a motor-generator unit (MGU), delivering an additional 100 kilowatts (134 horsepower) and 180 newton metres of torque during acceleration. It means that, with the engine and hybrid unit combined, Rally1 cars are capable of a maximum power output of more than 500 PS and maximum torque of over 500 Nm. The unit regenerates energy under braking and the battery can also be plugged in to an external power supply to be recharged during service breaks. Alongside hybrid power, Rally1 cars run on a 100 per cent sustainable fossil-free fuel. With a renewable blend of synthetic and bio-fuel components, the fuel is the first of its kind to be used in an FIA motorsport world championship. The regulation changes also cover the car’s chassis, which is now formed by a spaceframe design that offers increased safety protection for the driver and co-driver compared to the previous bodyshells. On the outside, some of the aerodynamic features seen on World Rally Cars between 2017 and 2021 have been prohibited to control costs. Still, elements such as side skirts and large rear wings remain to provide stability, while air ducts can be used to cool parts including the hybrid unit. There has also been a simplification of the cars’ transmissions. The cars remain four-wheel drive but now have five-speed gearboxes with a mechanical shift and no longer feature an active centre differential. The suspension is also now more straightforward with a reduced amount of damper travel permitted.

Based on the GR Yaris, using lessons from the Yaris WRC

The GR YARIS Rally1 is based on the road-going GR YARIS production model, which itself was developed using the experience gained in competition with the first-generation Yaris WRC. Making its debut on the stages in 2017, the Yaris WRC was the first car Toyota had built for rallying’s highest level for two decades. It achieved victory in just its second event on Rally Sweden in 2017, but the demanding roads of the WRC still provided the team’s drivers and engineers with some harsh lessons in the early days. Over five seasons, the Yaris WRC’s engine, aerodynamics, suspension and other components underwent numerous updates and performance gradually improved each season. In 2018, it won the manufacturers’ championship, before claiming successive drivers’ and co-drivers’ titles in both 2019 and 2020. In its final season in 2021, the Yaris WRC took a clean sweep of the available titles and won nine of the 12 rallies. From a clean sheet of paper, the GR YARIS Rally1 has been developed using the many lessons learned with the Yaris WRC, adapted to meet the different requirements of the new regulations.

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Work at the service park is a battle against time

While circuit races have pit stops, at rallies servicing and repairs are performed at the service park. Once the competition begins, the time allotted for servicing is limited to just 15 minutes in the morning prior to the race, 30 minutes during the day, and 45 minutes at night. Once a vehicle has been serviced at night, it is parked in a garage called the “Parc Fermé,” where no further servicing is permitted until the next morning.

One Day Course Goals

  • Understand Weight Transfer
  • Throttle Management
  • Left Foot Braking
  • Adapt to Understeer and Oversteer
  • Induce and Correct Slides
  • Drive the Proper Rally Line
  • Straight Line Braking
  • How to Maximize Traction
  • Trail Braking
  • Adapt to Changing Conditions

What are some of the differences between All-Wheel Drive and Rear-Wheel Drive?

All-Wheel Drive cars have more traction (naturally) and can therefore attain higher speeds in a shorter space, but require very precise driving to extract the most from them. Rear-Wheel Drive is quite challenging, requiring a lot of throttle control and very smooth inputs. It’s incredibly fun and sideways, and the ability to successfully handle a Rear-Wheel Drive car through slippery rally conditions is quite rewarding. Both are incredibly fun, and will increase your driving ability and car control beyond what’s possible on a track.

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