A new generation of hybrid rally car

The Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID 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-liter 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 meters 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 percent 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 motorsports 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 regulation on 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 center differential. The suspension is also now more straightforward with a reduced amount of damper travel permitted.
The 2023 GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID competed in the 2023 season and was based on the 2022 car, but has optimized cooling efficiency and aerodynamics with different air ducts on the body sides. Improvements were made to enhance its overall performance, such as by improving traction by changing the specifications of the mechanical differential and improving torque by changing the intake system of the engine. For the 2024 car, the engine has been updated to further improve response at low speeds, and the torque curve has been improved. As for the exterior, the color has changed significantly to now have a matt black base. This expresses the concepts of “Speed” representing our spirit, “Hate to lose,” and “Prototype” which represents making ever-better motorsports-bred cars and to keep evolving.

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

The GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID 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 HYBRID has been developed using the many lessons learned with the Yaris WRC, adapted to meet the different requirements of the new regulations.

Three kinds of tires to match road conditions

In racing, ideal tire size depends on whether the car is driving on gravel or on tarmac. Generally, 15-inch tires are used for gravel while 18-inch tires are used for tarmac. The number of tires that can be used for each championship event is regulated by the event, and the question of when to change tires is a key racing strategy.

Specifications and equipment differ depending on the specific competition or special stage

Vehicle specifications and settings change for every competition. Depending on whether the rally is held on gravel, snow, or tarmac, not only the tires but also parts such as the brakes and suspension need to be changed. For rallies held on smooth tarmac, the vehicle height should be kept to a minimum, however on rough gravel rally roads, the car should be higher to avoid contact with the road surface. Also, to accommodate changing road conditions including rain, settings such as the suspension and power train are adjusted as needed. For night driving, visibility is enhanced by installing an auxiliary light source on the hood called a light pod.

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.


Engine typeIn-line 4-cylinder turbo, direct injection, Hybrid Power Unit
Engine displacement1,600 cc
Maximum powerOver 500 PS
Maximum torqueOver 500 Nm
Bore / stroke83.8 mm / 72.5 mm
Air restrictor36 mm, following FIA regulations
Gearbox5 speed mechanical shift
Gearbox final drive4 wheel drive, 2 x mechanical differentials
ClutchDouble Plate Sintered Clutch
Chassis / suspension
Front / rearMacpherson
Suspension travelDamper travel 270mm
SteeringHydraulic Rack and Pinion
Braking systemGravel 300 mm, Tarmac 370 mm
Dimension and weight
Length / width / height4,225 mm (incl. aero device) / 1,875 mm / adjustable
Track widthAdjustable
Wheelbase2,630 mm
Minimum weight1,260 kg
Top speed201 kph (Ratio Specific)