Toyota starts testing the Yaris WRC design for 2021

Last Friday and Saturday, Toyota Gazoo Racing Team has been developing the first tests of the Yaris WRC design for 2021, at the same time they were doing the pre-event tests for Rally Sweden. The new car is based in the recently presented GR Yaris. The tests have taken place in the team test area, near the team’s base in Puuppola, Finland. The duo Hänninen/Tuominen had the honor of first driving the new car on stage.

J.Hänninen/, Toyota GR Yaris WRC, Development test near Puuppola, Finland – picture by Henri Vuorinen Photography

For the test, the car was fitted with most of the aero parts included in the Yaris WRC currently taking part in the Championship. However, some indications of future parts can be found in the pictures available from the test, even though the car was dressed with camouflage livery, as usual with new cars.

J.Hänninen/, Toyota GR Yaris WRC, Development test near Puuppola, Finland – picture by Henri Vuorinen Photography

The front of the new design car includes a prominent front splitter, very similar to that of the Yaris WRC 2020. The main difference is the absence of the vertical strakes on both sides of the splitter, although they will probably be included in the future. Also, the shape of the front air intake is different, as it is in the road car, although probably very similar in size. Note the absence of roof scoop, showing that the car is in a initial design step.

The front bumper keeps the two dive planes on each side. The upper one is shorter and wider than in the Yaris WRC 2020, probably due to the fact that the fender in the new car is also wider, and dive planes are designed to throw all air on top of the fender, so it makes sense they have both the same width. The lower dive plane seems to remain unchanged, except that it is longer on its rear part, to connect with the front fender.

J.Hänninen/, Toyota GR Yaris WRC, Development test near Puuppola, Finland – picture by Henri Vuorinen Photography

On top of the front fenders, there is no air vent neither top winglet. Instead, a small lip has been added on the external side of the front fenders, which is not present in the Yaris WRC 2020.

J.Hänninen/, Toyota GR Yaris WRC, Development test near Puuppola, Finland – extracted from Toyota Gazoo Racing video

Note also the location of the bonnet vents, located close to the edge of the bonnet, while in the Yaris WRC 2020 they are located into a more centered position. The different location is important because, in this location, hot air is sent to the A-pillars, interacting with the main flow, while in the Yaris WRC 2020 most of the air is sent upwards, to the car roof.

J.Hänninen/, Toyota GR Yaris WRC, Development test near Puuppola, Finland – picture by Henri Vuorinen Photography

The side skirts seem to follow the design of the Yaris WRC 2020, while no air intake for brake cooling is visible. Although it was probably not necessary with the low temperatures these days in Finland.

J.Hänninen/, Toyota GR Yaris WRC, Development test near Puuppola, Finland – picture by Henri Vuorinen Photography

The rear of the car is also very similar to the Yaris WRC 2020, but again with some minor differences.

The rear fenders’ vents are thinner on top, and wider at the bottom. The rear diffuser used is the same than in the 2020 car, with the exhaust gas exit also located at the top center. But the new car has a bigger, squared space available for the diffuser, showing that other diffuser designs could be added in the future. And side winglets on the rear wing are wider than in the current car, with a similar size of the winglets of the new design of the Citroën C3 WRC seen in the Rally Catalunya 2019 pre-event tests, which has never been used in competition. The reason why they are wider is probably because the car is also wider than the Yaris 2020, so the winglets need to be wider to be more prominent, then getting some air on them.

J.Hänninen/, Toyota GR Yaris WRC, Development test near Puuppola, Finland – picture by Henri Vuorinen Photography

For the rest, the design and the location of the rear wing are very similar to the one included in the Yaris WRC 2020, but the separation between the upper and the lower wing has been increased. The reason is the lower height of the lower wing, with respect to the 2020 rear wing design.

The length of the side wing is the same, but its location has been changed: in the Yaris WRC 2021 design, it has been moved forward, as shown in the picture above.

In summary, the aero package of the Yaris WRC design for 2021 seen in the tests is a first (small) evolution of the current Yaris WRC car, and it will probably be refined in the next months,or even changed. Still some elements are missing, and the car lacks the excellent balance of the Yaris WRC 2020, as shown in the excellent pictures from jumps taken by Henri Vuorinen Photography, where the GR Yaris lands on rear wheels.

J.Hänninen/, Toyota GR Yaris WRC, Development test near Puuppola, Finland – picture by Henri Vuorinen Photography

Some of the small differences detected from pictures can give us some clues about the future design, which hopefully will be shown before the end of the season. In the meantime, CFD and wind tunnel work are probably being developed these days, in order to obtain the most accurate design, as they did with the previous and successful version of the Yaris WRC.

This post includes the opinions of the author, which are certainly not always right. If you detect any error or you disagree, do not hesitate to contact us, by sending an email to wrcwings@gmail.com. We love to learn!

2 thoughts on “Toyota starts testing the Yaris WRC design for 2021

  • 2020-02-10 at 08:39
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    What a scoop (no pun intended)! Thank you for the job you’ve done; props as well for the photo- & videographers who withstood the weather to make this article possible. One question, though: Seeing the main image gave me food for thought, specifically in regards of camera in place of rear-view mirrors. When will the FIA incorporate this idea, following what I assume will be a swift implementation in the endurance racing classes? Given the additional distance between the drivers’ position and the outermost layer of the body due to increased safety foam, can this gap be filled by monitors instead?

    Reply
    • 2020-02-10 at 14:03
      Permalink

      Thank you for your nice words. And all the credit and thankfulness to the photographers (great Henri Vuorinen in this post) and all other who constantly provide so many nice pictures and videos, no matter the weather or the conditions. Regarding your proposal, it will be really helpful the replacement of the side mirrors by cameras, as they constitute a good headache in terms of the aero in both sides of the car. But I’m afraid FIA will not accept them until they are implemented in the road car models from which the WRC derive from. Hope it doesn’t take long!

      Reply

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