The European-market Toyota Yaris was released last month, bringing the use of the company’s TNGA platform and a range of three-cylinder engines. There is a hotter, rally-inspired version about to launch at the upcoming Rally Australia round on November 17 as teased by Toyota Europe on Twitter, with the GR-4 moniker – an all-wheel-drive Yaris hot hatch?

Toyota has yet to reveal technical details on this high-performance Yaris, though some guesses can be made. A test vehicle was spotting running tests in July at the Nurburgring Nordschleife in the signature Gazoo Racing camouflage foil, along with sporting what appeared to be a lower ride height and larger wheels and tyres.

Further movements in this direction were recorded when Toyota and Subaru agreed on a new capital alliance in September, securing the future of not just the next-generation Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ, but also for the development of new all-wheel-drive models. Both brands have form in the World Rally Championship, so it isn’t far fetched for a rally-inspired model to materialise.

When the Yaris GR-4 makes it debut at Rally Australia, it will likely do so as a prototype, similar to the GR Supra‘s appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last year. “I, myself, am a rallyist, and, through my experience of training hard in an Impreza, I have felt in my veins the wonders of Subaru’s AWD technologies,” said Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota during the announcement of the capital alliance between Toyota and Subaru.

Exciting times – Group A racing and rallying may be no more, though the arrival of the WRC-inspired Toyota Yaris could add more motorsport flavour to the more attainable passenger car segments. What do you think of the incoming Yaris GR-4?

GALLERY: 2020 Toyota Yaris