An exclusive ride with Ogier in the Ogier Edition Yaris

DirtFish watched Sébastien Ogier at work in a car named after himself

There’s a corner at the Jarama Circuit with no name. There’s Nuvolari, Farina, Monza, but turn 10 is just that. Not now it’s not. Now, it’s Ogier.

Why? Because eight-time world champion Sébastien Ogier took a road-going Toyota GR Yaris through the Madrid track’s 10th turn at the most ridiculous speed and at the most astonishing angle. And, what’s more, he was laughing from apex to exit.

A road car run with a rally legend is always something of a sobering moment. For those of us fortunate enough to have enjoyed a moment or two behind the wheel of Toyota’s outstanding hot hatch, we kind of think we’ve given it some stick. Shown it who’s boss.

No, you haven’t. Not even close.


Ogier’s the boss and his demonstration of what could be done with a road car on road tires was mind-boggling.

“This car,” Ogier told DirtFish, “is the new one. It has the new transmission and some more power.”

Ah! That’s it then, that’s the difference. Had I taken this version to the lanes at home, I too would have been a driving God.

The power’s up to 280bhp and the gearbox is an eight-speed racing direct auto – it has a competition-speed shift.

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“And it really does,” said Ogier. “You know I listen to people saying you need a manual car for the real driving experience… you have to drive this car. The automatic ’box is so good, the shift is so nice and so quick. It’s fantastic.”

And it is. It was hard to imagine how Toyota could improve on the GR Yaris. But it has. It’s an even more capable car. But for DirtFish, the biggest improvement was the installation of Ogier in the driver’s seat of a car that bears his name.

“It’s very cool to have a Sébastien Ogier edition,” he said. “It’s also really cool that we had the chance to have some input into the car itself – there’s even a Sébastien Ogier driving mode!”

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And that car was revealed on Thursday, alongside the Kalle Rovanperä edition, ahead of the start of the Monte Carlo Rally.

Before it rolled over the ramp in Casino Square, DirtFish went for a ride with Ogier in ‘his’ car and through ‘his’ corner.

Words:David Evans