The GR Yaris that Toyota will use in the 2021 World Rally Championship has commenced testing, with long term development driver Juho Hanninen behind the wheel.
A video released by the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team on Friday reveals the car being tested on heavy snow, with a selection of onboard and action shots of the hotly-anticipated hot hatch.
The GR Yaris road car - which the WRC challenger will be based on - came as something of a surprise to the car industry when it was revealed in January at the Tokyo Auto Salon, with a 257bhp three-cylinder engine and four-wheel drive.
Most road-going hot hatches are front-wheel drive to save cost.
The road car has been developed alongside the TGR WRT squad which is run by Tommi Makinen out of Puuppola, Finland, giving the team the chance to create a solid base car for what becomes its 2021 challenger.
? Today our test driver Juho Hänninen is testing the #YarisWRC design for 2021...February 7, 2020
The video is likely to have been taken in Finland, although that is not confirmed.
It does reveal that the car has similar exaggerated aerodynamic devices like its Yaris predecessor, and the rear wing looks similar to the current Yaris.
The GR Yaris road car is not a hybrid. The WRC will move to hybrid power units for the 2022 season.
Makinen said: "With the launch of the GR Yaris at Tokyo Auto Salon, we wanted to make sure our World Rally Car shares features with such an excellent car available for Toyota drivers around the world.
"We want to compete on the rally stages with as similar a car as possible to the one we have developed for the roads."
Hanninen completed the initial testing of the current Yaris before its introduction for the 2017 season, and will also co-drive for Jari-Matti Latvala's top flight WRC return on Rally Sweden next week.
The 2012 European and 2010 Intercontinental Rally champion, Hanninen also contested the 2017 season for Toyota in the WRC, scoring a best result of third in Finland and ninth in the standings.
The arrival of Ott Tanak and Esapekka Lappi alongside Latvala for 2018 left Hanninen on the sidelines, but he has remained embedded in the team.