Toyota to make rally return
Japanese manufacturer building Yaris to FIA R1A rules
By William Esler. Last Updated: 14/08/12 9:13am
Toyota are to return to rallying with a Yaris
Toyota are set to return to rallying after a 14-year absence with an entry-level Yaris built to the new FIA R1A regulations.
However, Toyota Motorsport will not be returning as a works outfit. Instead the car, which will have a maximum output of 1400cc, will be available to buy by privateer teams.
The new rules only permit limited performance modifications - on the Yaris the upgrade kit includes racing exhaust, catalytic converter system, shorter final drive gear, motorsport suspension with adapted springs and adjustable ride height.
The car will make its public appearance at Rally Germany, running as the 'zero car', and is expected to become the first car in the world to be awarded FIA R1A homologation before the end of year.
That will qualify it to compete on regional, national and international competitions all the way up to World Rally Championship events from next year.
It is Toyota's first foray back into rallying since 1999, a year that ended a successful lengthy period in which they won four drivers' and three manufacturers' titles.
Toyota Motorsport president Yoshiaki Kinoshita said: "It is a great thrill for Toyota to return to rallying, a discipline in which we enjoyed a great deal of success in the past.
"The car is a completely different project compared to our WRC past.
"It is an affordable but exciting car which makes rallying's major events accessible to a whole range of participants.
"We have already received numerous inquiries about this car, so we know there is a huge appetite in the rally world for a new Toyota.
"I hope this is the start of a new rally dynasty at TMG."