FIA World Rally Championship

WATCH: Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 with new rear-end design for 2023

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Credit: Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

Yesterday (Monday) M-Sport Ford WRT did their last pre-event testing before Rallye Monte-Carlo next weekend and from today (Tuesday) towards the end of the week Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT and Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT are carrying out their tests in preparation for the season-opener.

Hyundai has already revealed the 2023 Hyundai i20 N Rally1 car which sees a new rear wing but Toyota will also come with new upgrades for the season. The defending manufacturer and driver champions have been spotted today testing a Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 without the large rear air intake. a more slick design with new rear fenders and a new rear wing as well.

The team has not yet officially revealed the 2023 car to the public but they are expected to do so this week, same goes for the British outfit over at M-Sport.

Toyota technical director Tom Fowler has spoken with the American publication about the new upgrades for the car: “The main thing since Japan is an aerodynamic update which we’ve made to the rear fenders which is quite significant in looks, those fighter jet inlets have now disappeared so we have a smooth-sided vehicle with much less pronounced hybrid inlets which is a cooling change basically for the hybrid system but also then of course a help in terms of improving the overall aerodynamics of the car.” he said.

Fowler also revealed for that the team has also upgraded the engine for 2023: “Everyone talks about peak power but in rally we’re also looking more throughout the whole range so if you talk about peak, no-one’s ever doing anything more than a couple horsepower in terms of peak but what we’ve also looked at is the operating range of the engine because now we have more data about how the drivers can use the hybrid and how they want to use the hybrid.”

“It’s a bit clearer. I think this was a discussion before 2022 came ‘what will the engine packages look like because now hybrid is coming?’ Do they need more torque, less torque and so on? So let’s say the characteristics of the engine has also been adapted a bit to match the hybrid that we have. In terms of an overall output of the whole system together, it means that we have more consistent torque.”

The eight-time Sébastien Ogier was the first Toyota driver to do the first pre-event testing today, it is still unknown in what way the other drivers will share the drive. Over at Hyundai, it is reported that Dani Sordo is testing today, Esapekka Lappi tomorrow, and Thierry Neuville on Thursday.

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Covering off-road news for The Checkered Flag since 2019, with over 10 years of experience working with all sorts of publications, media & PR-related things in motorsport.
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