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GR Yaris gets ultra-limited WRC driver-tweaked special edition

Inspired by Sébastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanperä

So, which hot hatch would you choose? PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

The normal GR Yaris is already mega-popular, but Toyota has just dialed the desirability level up to 11 with two super limited special editions of its hotter-than-hot hatchback.

Only 100 units each of the GR Yaris RZ High Performance Sébastien Ogier Edition and the GR Yaris RZ High Performance Kalle Rovanperä Edition will be releasedat least initially.

Celebrating eight-time WRC winner Ogier and double reigning world champion Rovanperä, the two models were unveiled during the launch of this year’s World Rally Championship in Monte Carlo.

Sébastien Ogier's GR Yaris looks more conservative and subtle. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

Both cars have been created with input from the respective drivers, and come with different styling packages and even different driving modes. The Ogier Edition is painted matte stealth gray, and has a fixed rear wing, 18-inch BBS rims, blue brake calipers, a French flag as front radiator decoration, and decals commemorating the WRC victories.

Rovanperäs car is finished in three-tone paint, and it also rolls on 18-inch BBS wheels but features a variable wing at the back. It also has constant-velocity rear differential gears, Toyota Gazoo Racing decals, and of course, some stickers pointing out the WRC triumphs of the driver.

Want to drive like Kalle Rovanperä? PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

The interior also shows subtle differences between the two editions. Next to more badges commemorating the various WRC victories of the two drivers, it also features different stitching on the steering wheel to match the colors of their countries and an exclusive GR full-TFT gauge display for the special driving modes.

Both cars are powered by the same powerplant, which is the latest version of the 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder that churns out 280hp and 390Nm. Gear changes are done using the six-speed intelligent manual transmission.

We'd be happy to just attend the Japan Rally. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

If you fancy getting your hands on one, then your best bet is to head to Japan and ask your nearest Toyota dealer to enter your name into the draw, as the lucky 100 souls who will be allowed to buy one will be chosen via a lottery.

If you are successful, then you’ll also get to meet the two rally drivers at Rally Japan, but there’s no word yet on how much money you’ll have to cough up for this four-wheeled pleasure.

There might, however, be a chance that Toyota will sell a few more of them outside of the country. While the global press site only mentions the Japanese units, the European version also talks about sales outside of the country in the future. Here’s hoping!

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring. He writes the aptly named ‘Frankly’ column.