Toyota GR Yaris Rovanperä Edition Introduces a ‘Donut’ Mode

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Toyota GR Yaris Rovanperä Edition Has A ‘Donut’ Mode

It’s not uncommon for a car manufacturer to attach the name of one of its affiliated racing drivers to a car in order to create a special edition. More often than not, it’s a strategic marketing move adorned with a set of decals (Citroen C4 by Loeb, we’re looking at you), but occasionally, it results in something more substantial.

Enter the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo Tommi Mäkinen Edition, the Acura NSX Alex Zanardi Edition, and the Subaru Impreza RB320, paying homage to the late WRC champion Richard Burns. Now joining this illustrious list are two versions of the impressive Toyota GR Yaris.

Toyota GR Yaris Rovanperä Edition Introduces a 'Donut' Mode
Toyota GR Yaris Rovanperä Edition Introduces a ‘Donut’ Mode (Credits: The Drive)

Unveiled on the inaugural day of this year’s Monte Carlo Rally, the Ogier and Rovanperä Edition GR Yarises (or is it Yarii?) have been meticulously crafted with insights from their namesake drivers from the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team—Sébastien Ogier, a two-time World Rally Champion with Toyota, and Kalle Rovanperä, the sport’s youngest ever world champion in 2022 and 2023.

These editions go beyond mere aesthetic enhancements. Both cars feature unique setups for their all-wheel-drive systems, replacing the standard GR Yaris’ Gravel and Track modes. Developed with Ogier and Rovanperä’s input, Toyota states that these setups “reflect each driver’s personal preference for handling and performance.”

Toyota GR Yaris Rovanperä Edition Introduces a 'Donut' Mode
Toyota GR Yaris Rovanperä Edition Introduces a ‘Donut’ Mode (Credits: Hype Beast)

Let’s dive into the Ogier Edition first. Replacing Track and Gravel modes are the ‘Morizo’ and ‘Seb’ modes. Morizo, crafted by Toyota’s Chairman Akio Toyoda (who races under the pseudonym ‘Morizo’ in his spare time), is designed for on-track consistency, aiming for “consistent race times.”

On the other hand, Seb mode, created by Ogier himself, adjusts the torque distribution of the four-wheel-drive system to be more rear-biased, promising “quicker times with high-speed body control.”

Visually, the Ogier Edition sports a distinctive Matt Stealth Grey paint, a unique carbon fiber rear spoiler, blue brake calipers, and multiple French flag motifs paying homage to Ogier’s homeland.

If the Ogier Edition is focused on shaving lap times, the Rovanperä Edition is the choice for showboaters. It introduces two new settings: Donut mode, designed for easy rotations by sending a constant, strong torque flow to the rear wheels, and Kalle mode, explicitly crafted for executing big drifts with the GR’s limited-slip differentials.

The exterior reflects their distinct personalities. The Ogier Edition emphasizes stealth with its subtle design, while the Rovanperä Edition is anything but subtle, featuring Gazoo Racing’s signature red, black, and white colors, extensive decals covering the entire body, and Rovanperä’s race number, 69.

Both editions are based on the recently-revealed updated version of the GR Yaris, boasting 276bhp from their 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engines. However, they will only be available with a manual transmission, as the option for an automatic gearbox is not on the table.

Now, for those eager to get their hands on these unique models, the situation is a bit unclear. Toyota Japan states that each edition will be limited to 100 units, with a purchasing lottery opening up in the spring for Japanese buyers. Toyota Europe, on the other hand, mentions that they will be built in “strictly limited numbers,” with details about ordering and sales in European markets to be announced later. It remains uncertain whether the 100 units are exclusive to Japan or include a global allocation.

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