Toyota has revealed the GR Yaris AP4 (Asia-Pacific 4WD) which will compete at the Netier National Capital Rally in Canberra in April.
The GR Yaris might not make it into WRC, but it’ll get its first taste of rally at the Netier National Capital Rally in Canberra in April, which is the first round of the Australian Rally Championship. Two vehicles have been built and will be driven by Harry and Lewis Bates for the factory-backed Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia rally team.
The new GR Yaris AP4 race cars were built and engineered by Neal Bates Motorsport (NBM) in collaboration with Toyota Australia. More than that, Toyota’s product team helped out with the bodywork design.
Neal Bates said, “This really has been a collaborative effort to help bring these cars to life and we are looking forward to their competition debut next month.
“The design not only gives us a great looking car, but fine tuning the shape of the fenders and bumpers and other body parts using Toyota’s advanced technologies has helped give us an aerodynamic edge.
“We also worked with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Europe on the 1.6-litre three-cylinder turbo engines, which have been slightly modified from the standard GR Yaris unit to comply with the AP4 regulations, while still delivering extremely quick response and optimum driveability for rallying,” he said.
And Bates is happy with the GR Yaris as a starting point for rally.
“People often think that a rally car is just a modified road car, but it really is a Supercar for the gravel, the build process is identical to that of a Supercar,” Bates said.
The competition engine is based off a production GR Yaris and while the block, head and inlet manifold are standard, it uses a bespoke exhaust manifold and 1.5 bar maximum boost turbocharger and is fitted with an air restrictor to meet AP4 regulations. Bates won’t say how much power it makes, but says it’s more than the standard car.
The engine drives through a Sadev six-speed sequential gearbox with NBM specifying the gear ratios it wanted. The AWD system is also sourced from Sadev and under the regulations, uses a locked centre differential that splits drive torque 50:50 front to rear.
To cope with rally driving, Bates’ team added 50mm to the front suspension tower and designed and manufactured all the suspension componentry in-house. Using Murray Coote Australia (MCA) dampers, it offers 265mm of travel in the front and 280mm travel in the rear.
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