It's safe to say Akio Toyoda is not your typical automotive CEO. Rather than being stuck in an office all day, he is eager to show off some impressive driving skills by hooning the company's most exciting cars. It was only about a month ago when the 65-year-old executive was filmed at a Gazoo Racing event trashing around a GR Yaris rally car. Now, he’s done it again with the feisty supermini.
At an official demonstration organised during the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon, Akio Toyoda hopped behind the wheel of the new Rally1-spec machine. Pictured here, the WRC weapon will go up against the likes of the i20 N and Puma hybrid rally cars developed to meet Rally1 regulations. The impressively loud electrified rally car was properly abused courtesy of numerous drifts and power slides, turning the AWD Yaris into a smoke machine.
Gallery: Toyota Gazoo Racing Yaris Rally1
After literally taking out the Yaris Rally1 for a spin, Toyota's head honcho demonstrated his driving techniques in the GRMN Yaris, an extreme special edition of the subcompact model. Limited to 500 examples and offered only with two seats, the hyper hatch received the same harsh treatment as the WRC version. A camera mounted inside shows it really is Akio Toyoda doing all the stunts.
He also has quite possibly the coolest car of any automotive CEO as he was spotted several years ago getting out of a one-off GRMN Century. The grandson of Toyota founder Kiichiro Toyoda has given his proverbial green light for a fully fledged Gazoo Racing lineup with base GR Sport, midlevel GR, and range-topping GRMN trim levels.
We're keeping our fingers crossed the hybrid hypercar with around 1,000 bhp is still happening, while rumours of a manual Supra 3.0 are amounting. There could also be a GRMN variant of the coupe in the works, along with an electric sports car previewed by a concept in December 2021. Luxury division Lexus has teased an all-electric hypercar as an indirect successor of the LFA, so the two Japanese brands are committed to making exciting products.