It seems Toyota knows exactly what we want, both in terms of motor sports and road cars, and since they do, they’re feeding us the kind of information we long to hear. Of course, the most anticipated piece of info concerns their alleged WRC plans, but that is not all. In fact, Toyota is, if unofficial sources are to be trusted, getting ready for significant changes in its operations and both motor sport fans and road car enthusiasts should pay close attention. Somewhere in there lies a plan to return to WRC as well, I’m sure.
Over the last couple of days Toyota is filling the front pages of automotive media. The big news? Toyota is reportedly setting up a special performance division or sub-brand, dedicated exclusively to sports cars research and development. In charge of this new division is Tetsuya Tada, also known as one of the key people in successful Toyota GT86 project. Sexy FT-1 concept Toyota unveiled in Detroit last month is going to serve as an inspiration for the return of, are you ready, famous Supra. Official information does not exist, so media started guessing about the possible engines for the new icon – whether it ends up using 2 liter turbo four or 2.5 liter turbo V6 with around 400 HP, this new Supra should be your next dream car.
Further good news say Toyota is also working on another extremely interesting project and this one will not only serve as a dream car, but you just might be able to actually buy and enjoy one of these. The unnamed car should slot below GT86 both in terms of price as well as performance. So, cheaper than GT86 but with proper enthusiast oriented character? Don’t mind if I do! Again, no official info so guessing game had to step in – compact sports car might use hybrid power, consisting of some electric thingies and a 1.5 liter gasoline engine. Again, make sure to grasp this bit of information fully – cheaper GT86, but made with one goal, to make people smile and fall in love with Toyota.
Supra, sub-GT86, Yaris WRC to be built and tested… that sounds like many, many (read this in voice of Cmdr. Lassard) good things coming from Toyota in coming years. Yes, nothing of this has direct link to the WRC, but somehow I feel that Toyota is really determined to shed some of its current image and for once put Corollas, Priuses and other Everydayuses aside, making room for some Cars. It would only be natural for WRC to be part of that plan. Of course, this new performance division can be tasked with building a road going version of Yaris WRC – something to fight against Volkswagen Polo R or at least Fiesta ST?
As always, it is also possible that none of this is true and that Toyota is just teasing the hell out of everyone, as they work on building even more Priuses and repackaged Corollas. But I don’t think they are. Akio Toyoda would not allow it!
By the way, in case you didn’t know, there’s a petition going around, asking Toyota to put their words into action and do the next logical thing – join the WRC. Sign up!