Akio Toyoda, AKA Morizo, flips and crashes a GR Yaris, and he’s alive

What you see here is an incredibly smashed GR Yaris. What makes it crazier is the fact that behind the wheel of this crash is none other than Akio Toyoda, more popularly known in the motorsport world as Morizo, and none other than the Chairman of Toyota himself. Despite how horrendous it looks, both Toyoda and co-pilot Norihiko Katsuta, nine-time Japan Rally Champion, were both unscathed. Here’s the story.

GR Yaris wrecked, showed off, and for good reason

Toyota Gr Yaris Akio Toyoda Crash Test Inline 03 Min

Photo: Toyota

We all know that Akio Toyoda is very hands-on when it comes to testing vehicles, particularly for GR or Gazoo Racing. He’s just hardcore that way. In this case, the GR Yaris that you above was being tested in the Shimoyama course of the Toyota Technical Center.

While putting it through its paces, the car hit a mound at speed which caused it to flip, crash, and end up on its belly. As was mentioned, Toyoda and Katsuta both emerged with no injuries and are alive and well enough to recount the story at the Technical Center’s launch held just this April.

Toyota Gr Yaris Akio Toyoda Crash Test Inline 02 Min

Photo: Toyota

See, Toyoda and Toyota are all about testing vehicles “until they break”. When they do, the vehicle is fixed, patched up, and brought out for testing again, but for this GR Yaris, it was left untouched to show how it stands up to one of the worst things that can happen while you’re driving it (or in it) how it’s supposed to be: in this case, on a rally course. We all know that this is what this revival of the Gazoo Racing Yaris is for, after all.

“I’ve always thought we needed a place like this. …a place where we can drive, break, and fix cars over and over again,” Toyoda was loosely quoted as saying.

Toyota Gr Yaris Akio Toyoda Crash Test Inline 01 Min

Photo: Toyota

We can imagine the top brass of Toyota holding their breath when news and images of the crash were shown; Toyoda AKA Moriza is the company Chairman after all. But all’s well that ends well, and while the GR Yaris remains in its spectacularly smashed state, it will stand as testament to how safe it can and will keep its driver and co-pilot in the event of a crash.

At this point, we can only wonder what Morizo could end up driving – and crashing, but hopefully not with a terrifying outcome – next.

Mikko Juangco
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