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Toyota is making a rally-inspired Yaris hot hatch

Hurrah! The Toyota hot hatch is back, with more than 210bhp promised

This, internet, is a Toyota Yaris hot hatchback. Those of you of a certain age may be whooping with delight at the high-revving Yaris T-Sport getting its long overdue successor. The rest of you might be slightly surprised that such a sensible car is getting a fast version.

With Toyota entering the monster Yaris WRC into the 2017 World Rally Championship, though, a road-going version makes perfect sense.

Sadly, the car you see here loses the almighty aero kit of the WRC car, and will almost certainly bin the rear driveshafts and be front- rather than four-wheel driven. But there are some neat little alloys, a subtle spoiler and a central exhaust pipe.

Toyota has confirmed the car will produce ‘more than 210bhp’, too. We’re hoping that doesn’t mean 211bhp. Nonetheless, such shameless teasing would still make it one of the most powerful cars in its class, ahead of the Ford Fiesta ST, Peugeot 208 GTI and Mini Cooper S, if not quite the mad Mini John Cooper Works.

It’s expected to be called the Yaris Gazoo, after Toyota’s rally team, to further echo the WRC car. More details will land between now and the hot Yaris’s unveil at the Geneva motor show in March. We should know its engine size, top speed, 0-60mph time, and all the other key stats we need from a performance car. Let’s hope it has a traditional manual gearbox, too.

Those with the most technical anoraks will have spotted this is also a sneaky preview of an update for the Yaris range as a whole, too, with new lights front and rear clothing better chassis bits beneath. You probably aren’t bothered about that. But you should be bothered about the Fiesta ST potentially – finally – getting duffed up by a rival.

Toyota’s proved it can do fun cars with the GT86, here’s hoping there’s a bit of magic leftover to sprinkle onto this…

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