Toyota’s first 2022-specification Yaris WRC has started taking shape in the team’s Finnish research and development facility.
The next generation of Rally1 cars will be the first in the WRC to be built with spaceframe chassis – rather than a production-based car – since the conclusion of the Group B era in 1986.
Toyota Gazoo Racing technical director Tom Fowler admitted it was a seminal moment in the factory.
“It is definitely exciting to be there at the start of this new Rally1 regulation,” Fowler told DirtFish. “It’s very early days right now, but we have started work on the 2022 car. Ordinarily we’d have a production car in the factory and we’d be cutting pieces out of it and welding pieces into it.
“I can see value in both ways of working. It’s always nice to work with a production car and see the conversion from the road car to a competition car, but at the same time it’s a real challenge to make something from the ground up and create a nice result for the new Yaris.”
Fowler said the new process was adding to the development time for the first car.
He added: “The difference now is that we’re not only making individual parts of the chassis, we’re having to make the individual components for assembly and when you’re in this position of doing this for the first time, it always takes a little bit longer.
“Basically, new bits are coming along all the time and we’re putting the first chassis together bit by bit. Like I said, we’re tweaking the assembly all the time and this first car will be ready by the end of the year.”