Toyota won't "completely stop development" and switch focus to 2022 WRC car

Toyota boss Jari-Matti Latvala says his World Rally Championship team won't completely stop development of its current car and switch all of its focus to its all-new 2022 machine.

Toyota won't "completely stop development" and switch focus to 2022 WRC car

This season will be the last of the current iteration of WRC cars, first introduced in 2017, as the championship moves to new hybrid Rally1 regulations next year.

The rule change has seen Toyota, Hyundai and M-Sport Ford juggle fighting for this year's title with designing, building and developing all-new hybrid cars for next season.

While Hyundai has proved it has the fastest car, Toyota is currently leading both the drivers' and constructors' championships having won five of the six rallies so far this year.

Despite Toyota's dominance, Latvala feels his team cannot completely take its eye off this year and throw all of its efforts into developing its new hybrid GR Yaris.

"I have been in a situation in the past where there was a new car coming and we stopped developing the current car and suddenly the other manufacturer was a lot more competitive. We really started to struggle", Latvala told Autosport.

"The fact is for me we cannot stop completely the development work with the current car.

"We have to keep going until the end of the year, but for sure there are no major things coming anymore, like the engine update that came for Portugal. For sure the engine side there is not going to be any changes.

"The transmission side, we have homologated all the parts, we can't homologate any more parts. And then the rest of the things that we are trying to do on the suspension side and the weight of the car are little details where we can try to improve until the end of the year."

Toyota revealed images of its new GR Yaris in May, while testing and development work on the car is set to continue this month.

Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Photo by: Toyota Racing

In images released by the team the new Yaris features an aggressive aero package with bulging vents on the side of the car designed to cool the hybrid system's batteries.

"I must say it looks really impressive and I think the tubes at the side of the car which are coming out makes it really aggressive looking, but the purpose of those is cooling the batteries for the hybrid unit," Latvala added.

"We call it a new car. We have had the batteries installed on the car and we are able to get some feedback from those and have been driving with the batteries.

"Hopefully let's say we can get the proper whole 2022 car ready to be testing maybe at the end of July."

M-Sport Ford became the first team to officially launch its 2022 car last week when it took the covers off its all-new Puma at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Rivals Hyundai also released images of its new i20 recently and like Toyota it will continue pressing forward with its current car as it fights for this year's WRC title.

However, Hyundai boss Andrea Adamo admits there isn't much more development to come on the current i20 WRC, but the squad will have some developments to run at this weekend's Rally Estonia.

"We never stop to develop the current car as long as we define what it means to develop," Adamo told Autosport.

"For sure in terms of homologation we are finished. We homologate new things on July 1 which we will start to have in Estonia and it will be normal preparation for the rallies.

"We have two different teams one if for the current car and the other is fully focussed on next year and they won't interfere with each other."

shares
comments

Related video

WRC reveals partial 2022 calendar including nine events

Previous article

WRC reveals partial 2022 calendar including nine events

Next article

Ford steps up WRC support through Puma development

Ford steps up WRC support through Puma development
Load comments
How Finland’s newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia Plus

How Finland’s newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia

Kalle Rovanpera broke a decade-old record in becoming the World Rally Championship's youngest-ever winner in a truly dominant performance on Estonia's fast gravel roads. Staving off the challenge of Hyundai's Craig Breen, his committed drive showed a maturity beyond his 20 years that gives Toyota's post-Ogier era a far brighter complexion

WRC
Jul 19, 2021
How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale Plus

How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale

The World Rally Championship’s delayed return to the Safari Rally was always set throw up some surprises, but aside from a spirited showing by Thierry Neuville it became another painful event for Hyundai in 2021. Once again it was Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage as he completed a stunning comeback drive

WRC
Jun 28, 2021
Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win Plus

Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win

The Safari Rally returns to the World Rally Championship this weekend for the first time since 2002 - when crowd favourite Colin McRae set aside the maximum attack style for which he was renowned to deliver a textbook third win

WRC
Jun 23, 2021
How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2 Plus

How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2

For the second WRC gravel rally in a row, a promising Friday for Hyundai turned into desolation as Toyota gratefully picked up the pieces. This time it was championship leader Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage after Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo retired to score a memorable victory, having swept the road on the first two days

WRC
Jun 7, 2021
How Hyundai's latest self-destruction handed Evans Portugal victory Plus

How Hyundai's latest self-destruction handed Evans Portugal victory

At one point Hyundai held the top three positions in Portugal, but when trouble struck the Korean marque's two leading chargers, a grateful Elfyn Evans was on hand to see off Hyundai third man Dani Sordo and become the third different winner in four rallies

WRC
May 24, 2021
Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages Plus

Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages

Three years after a Dakar Rally crash resulted in him being airlifted to hospital, Andre Villas-Boas is preparing to make his debut on his home round of the World Rally Championship later this month. His goals for the event are modest, but the same cannot be said for the charities he plans to promote where his true impact could be felt

WRC
May 13, 2021
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Plus

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia Plus

How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021