Toyota GR Yaris Morizo Selection learns as it goes

The Toyota GR Yaris forbidden-in-the-U.S. world rally homologation special is getting yet another tweak that makes it even more desirable. Its trick feature is periodically updated software that will improve the driving experience as you spend more time driving the car. However, there’s a catch. The feature, and indeed the whole car, is only available through a subscription service.

In addition to its battles on the rally circuit, the GR Yaris is being campaigned by Rookie Racing, a Toyota-affiliated race team in Japan’s Super Taikyu endurance series. It’s the same outfit that recently helped Toyota test a hydrogen fuel-powered Corolla with the GR Yaris engine during the Fuji 24 Hours enduro.

Toyota says that drivers of the Morizo Selection Yaris can have the car continuously updated with data gleaned from Rookie Racing’s race endeavors. Through software, Toyota can even tailor the vehicle’s steering and stopping (and presumably throttle) responses to individual driving styles.

In addition to these electronic tricks, the Morizo Selection comes with details that connect it with the Rookie Racing team. The team livery of blue and yellow is featured on stitching throughout the cabin in areas like the seats and shift boot, it has the team logo on the 10-spoke wheels’ center caps and the door switch bases, and the suspension will also feature Rookie Racing warpaint.

Perhaps the most curious aspect of the car is its namesake, Morizo. That, in fact, is the racing alias of Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda. The president used the alter ego to register for races to keep his identity a secret, shielding him from critics who thought it irresponsible for the then-vice president to participate in such a dangerous activity. Over the years Morizo’s true identity was revealed, but it stuck and Toyoda still uses it, most recently in a stint behind the aforementioned hydrogen Corolla. On the Yaris, Morizo’s signature appears as a logo on the window.

Oddly, despite the Morizo Selection’s ability to personalize the car, you can’t own it outright. It’s only available via Toyota’s Kinto subscription service in Japan. Kinto allows subscribers to select from a pool of new Toyota or Lexus vehicles every so often, but includes associated expenses like financing, insurance, repairs, and Japan’s infamously expensive and strict registration inspections, all in one monthly fee.

The GR Yaris Morizo Selection will be offered in three colors, Precious Black Pearl, Emotional Red II, and the ever-popular Platinum White Pearl Mica. More details will come as the becomes available in spring of 2022.

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