Toyota Boss Shoots For Porsche’s Overall Nürburgring-Nordschleife Record
Toyota and Porsche did battle in the FIA’s World Endurance Championship between 2014 and 2017 when Porsche abruptly decided to pull the plug on its LMP1 program as the whole VAG Group was looking at ways to reduce costs post-Dieselgate. Shortly thereafter, Porsche unveiled the 919 Evo, an unrestricted version of the company’s Le Mans-winning car that went on to better Porsche’s very own record around the Northern Loop of the Nürburgring circuit. Now, Porsche’s old rival, who’s still in the FIA WEC and has won Le Mans two times on the trot already reckons it could better the 919 Evo’s record around the Nordschleife through the voice of Rob Leupen, the LMP1 Team Boss. The sad part is that Toyota isn’t committing to a record attempt just yet.
2019 Papadakis Racing Toyota Corolla Hatch Formula Drift Car
The Toyota Corolla nameplate has deep roots in drifting, most notably with the AE86 “Hachi-Roku” produced during the ‘80s. However, in the 30-plus years since the demise of the original 86, the Corolla has been a bit of a pariah when it comes to the business of getting sideways and smoky. Nevertheless, Papadakis Racing has transformed the modern front-wheel drive twelfth-generation 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback into a winning entry in the cutthroat Formula Drift Championship.
Of course, breaking away from the pack has been a staple of team owner Stephan Papadakis’ career, and it shows everywhere in this latest build. Beyond the extensive rear-wheel drive conversion and complementary bespoke suspension, the Toyota also arrives to the party with half as many cylinders as most of its competitors, while still producing four-figures on the dyno thanks to mind-blowing levels of boost and a hearty shot of nitrous. Then there’s the unique five-door body style, which is enhanced by a custom carbon-fiber widebody kit.
Read on for all the nitty gritty details on what makes this machine so incredible.
Updated 03/19/2019: When this article was originally written, the author assumed Ryan Tuerck would drive the featured Corolla race car in the 2019 Formula Drift season. This is incorrect. Papadakis Racing built the featured Corolla race car for Toyota for demonstration purposes, and Ryan Tuerck is not a regular driver for the Papadakis Racing team. The author apologizes for the error.
2019 Toyota GR Supra GT4 Concept
The Supra name has been in a close-knit relationship with racing for decades, and this tradition is bound to continue with the fifth-generation model. After announcing that the Supra will replace the Camry in NASCAR, Toyota now gives us a preview of what could be a very popular customer racing car: the Supra GT4, the company’s first factory-developed GT4 racer.
The GT4 class is the baby brother of GT3: cheaper and less complicated to operate while also pertaining to closer wheel-to-wheel action due to the limited aerodynamic dependency of the cars in comparison to the GT3s. That’s why GT4 is, nowadays, a booming class just like TCR is in the world of touring car racing. Still, that doesn’t mean they are cheap. A Mercedes-AMG GTG GT4, for instance, will set you back $227,000 while the Multimatic-built Ford Mustang GT4 costs in excess of $260,000 but you can also go for something cheaper like the [$179,000 Porsche Cayman Clubsport GT4-art184037]. By comparison, any GT3 car is well over $400,000 to purchase.
In this context, the Supra GT4 might become a very interesting entry-level GT4 option as it’s based on a not-so-expensive platform - it’s no McLaren or Mercedes-AMG GT. It’s also an official project, and that means it has credibility on its side right out of the box. Until now, if you wanted to go GT4 racing in a Toyota, your only choice was the GPRM-developed GT86 GT4 which never really performed on par with its rivals. Things must change now that the Supra is just around the corner.
Update 3/12/2019: We’ve updated this review with fresh images of the 2019 Toyota GR Supra GT4 Concept that we took at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Check them out in the gallery at the bottom of the page!
2020 Toyota Supra GR
There are images aplenty of the new Supra, but these days, Toyota’s been testing a race-prepped version of their new sports car at the Nordschleife which we think might be the mule for the upcoming sportier Supra.
With this occasion, we got a chance to get a little closer to the Supra, and we like what we see. For example, we got an eyeful of the interior, with the center stack lacking any sort of camouflage with the big infotainment screen on top of the central attraction. It all seems to be, apart from the racing wheel, pretty much stock, so there’s not much guesswork left to do about how the interior will look, given that some renderings of the interior and exterior were also leaked this week.
Presenting the $1 Million Toyota GR Super Sport
There seems to be some sort of a trend, wherein automakers are using their expertise and experience from the motorsport industry to build street-legal hypercars. First, it was the Mercedes-AMG Project One and the Aston Martin Valkyrie, and now we have the Toyota GR Super Sport. While the former two was derived from Formula 1 knowledge, Toyota will build the GR using its FIA World Endurance Championship experience. However, it’s the seven-figure price tag that caught our attention. Is this for real?
2019 Toyota Supra NASCAR Race Car
The Toyota Supra is set to return to the market after a 16-year absence. Rumored for many years and teased since 2017, the Supra will make its public debut later in 2018, but Toyota has already introduced a couple of race cars. We’ve seen the first one in the form of an FIA-spec concept at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, while the second one is a somewhat surprising entry in the NASCAR Infinity series.
Unveiled ahead of the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at the Daytona International Speedway, the Supra replaces the Camry in the Xfinity Series starting in 2019. The Camry-based race car leaves the series after ten competitive years, during which it won four manufacturer championships, two driver titles, and 147 wins as of 2018. This is the first time when the Supra name will be used in any NASCAR series.
Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Supra NASCAR race car.
The Toyota Supra Will Take on the Mustang and the Camaro in NASCAR’s 2019 Season
The production version of the next-generation Toyota Supra has yet to be unveiled, but the Japanese automaker has already built two race cars based on it. We saw the first one in concept form at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. Now, Toyota revealed that the Supra will compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series starting in 2019.
Watch Toyota’s Fernando Alonso Slice Through the Le Mans Grid Like a Hot Knife Through Butter
They say a driver’s only as good as the car he’s driving, and if that’s the case, Fernando Alonso and the Toyota TS050 Hybrid race car are a match made in heaven. The two-time Formula One world champion recently took his skills to the Le Mans 24 Hours where he raced for the Toyota team that ended up romping its way to its first-ever Le Mans title.
Alonso played a big role in the championship-winning car, helping it finish first in a spectacular and dominant display of endurance racing with teammates Sebastian Buemi and Kabuki Nakajima. Alonso’s first try at endurance racing didn’t go unnoticed, either. On the contrary, much of the discussion before the race was squarely on his shoulders, specifically on how he could translate his skills from open-wheel F1 racing to endurance racing.
Evidently, the results showed that Alonso was not only up-to-the-challenge, but he actually thrived in his new environment. New video evidence even surfaced of the Spanish racing ace carving up the competition while onboard the TS050 Hybrid. The video lasts only 84 seconds, but in that span of time, Alonso was able to overtake, at least by my count, a total of 21 cars. 21! That’s the equivalent of overtaking the entire Formula One grid!
It’s an incredible sight to see, especially from someone who doesn’t have as much experience in this kind of racing environment as some of the people he was racing with. Sure, the TS050 Hybrid’s dominance played a big role in Alonso making it look so easy, but just as people that a driver’s only as good as the car he’s driving, the car only goes where the driver takes it. Alonso proved that, with a championship-caliber car, he’s still one of the best race car drivers in the world.
All he has to do now is hop inside an IndyCar racer and win the Indianapolis 500. That’s the only race he needs to win to become only the second driver to win motor racing’s equivalent of the “Triple Crown.” Now that he has the Monaco Grand Prix and the Le Mans 24 Hours under his belt, it’s almost a certainty that we’ll see him in Indy at some point in the near future.
Put The Toyota Supra On The Sideline First Because The GR Super Sport Concept is Where It’s At
Toyota is entering the hypercar space with a 986-horsepower monster that will be developed by the Toyota Gazoo Racing team. The model, called the GR Super Sport Concept, will use technology derived from the TS050 Hybrid LMP1 race car that just finished off a dominant run at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, giving Toyota its first-ever Le Mans title in the company’s history.
Toyota Finally Wins At Le Mans, Fernando Alonso Draws One Step Closer To Triple Crown
After knocking on the door multiple times in the past few years, Toyota finally broke through, winning its first-ever Le Mans title in dominant fashion. The winning #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid beat its sister car, the #7 TS050, on the back of its trio of drivers, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Buemi, and Kabuki Nakajima. The Le Mans win was the first for two-time F1 champ Alonso, who took a big step in becoming only the second racer in history to achieve the “motor racing triple crown.”
Note to Toyota: Resist The Urge to Send The Toyota Supra To Race in NASCAR
The new Toyota Supra isn’t even out yet, but there are already rumors that the Japanese automaker is looking into having it race in NASCAR during the 2019 season. According to the rumors, a race-spec version of the Supra would be entered in the second-tier Xfinity Series, leaving the Camry race car to remain in the flagship Cup Series.
Toyota’s Camry NASCAR Racer is Built in America
With Donald Trump officially elected as the 44th President of the United States, automakers have found themselves under a lot of stress thanks to his “build in American or pay dearly” strategy. Well, that actually led to a bit of a theme at the Detroit Auto Show, with automakers giving nods to the U.S.-based production in one way or another. One effort to prove U.S.-production loyalty came in the form of Toyota’s NASCAR racer that looks somewhat similar to the all-new Toyota Camry. Of course, most of the body is fake and all, but from a distance, it looks quite similar. More importantly, however, are the two nods to U.S.-loyalty that are advertised on the car.
First off, there’s a big decal just above the rear windscreen that says “Built in Kentucky.” That’s right, Toyota’s NASCAR racer is actually built in the Southern U.S. But, that wasn’t the only thing that caught my attention. There also a bright green decal around the fuel filler cap that reads “American Ethanol,” a simple but effective way to let everyone at the show know that the Japanese brand relies on American-made ethanol and American citizens to keep its presence on the track known. It makes complete sense, but it leaves on to wonder: Would these decals be there if Trump wasn’t pushing automakers for U.S. production so much?
That’s hard to say, but I have a feeling they wouldn’t be – or they wouldn’t be so prominent anyway. On a side note, since we’re here, I want to point out that it must take a lot of dedication to sit in one of these racers for so long. After getting a good look at the inside, I can tell you that there is absolutely nothing comfortable about them. The seat is hard, and there’s sheet metal everywhere – all with sharp points and thin edges. In case you haven’t had the chance to look inside an actual NASCAR racer, I snagged a few shots of the interior as best I could. You can check those out by clicking the “Photos” tab above, and I suggest you do if you really want to see what NASCAR drivers put up with for hours at a time on the track.
2017 Toyota Yaris WRC
These days, Toyota’s motorsport efforts are focused primarily on Formula One and Le Mans-style prototypes, but that wasn’t always the case. You see, back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, Toyota played a major role in the crossed-up, dirt spraying, high-flying insanity that is the World Rally Championship, even collecting a few championship titles to its name along the way. Now, Toyota is poised to make its return to the highest echelon in rallying with a new race-ready Yaris, and by all accounts, its looking like it could be running at the front of the pack when the 2017 season gets underway. Like the rest of this year’s competitors, the juiced-up Yaris will be packing nearly 400 horsepower, a huge amount of downforce, an upgraded AWD system, and the sort of attitude you’d expect from an old veteran in the sport.
Thing is, Toyota is gonna have its work cut out for it, especially when you consider that the last time a Toyota stormed a WRC stage was in 1999. That said, the 2017 regulations are looking to provide one helluva show, with some folks drawing comparisons to the legendary Group B era of the ‘80s. That means each of this year’s competitors will be pushing into the unknown, and conversely, Toyota’s fresh re-entry might be on slightly more even playing ground than first anticipated.
What’s more, the Toyota effort will have an all-star list of talent to back it. But will it be enough to keep pace with Citroen, M-Sport, or Hyundai? Only time will tell, but for now, read on for the details on Toyota’s plans and the new Yaris WRC competitor.
Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Yaris WRC.
Toyota Patents Racing Assist Technology
If you’ve ever played a car racing game, say Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsport, you know that there’s a difficulty mode within these games that allow you to enable racing assist, a feature wherein the computer depicts a racing line on the track that helps gamers navigate around the track more easily. These feature often says when a car should start to slow down and brake as it approaches a corner or what racing line it needs to take to post quicker lap times. It’s a great feature for novice gamers, but now it appears that Toyota is bringing that virtual assistance to the real world after filing a patent for a “vehicle race track driving assistance.”
The patent is what you’d expect given its name and from what we’re used to in those video games. In effect, the technology uses cameras and GPS and combines them with pre-programmed layouts of specific race tracks. These layouts include precise measurements of latitude and longitude data, ensuring that the information that’s transmitted to a driver are all accurate, right down to the core measurements.
So how does the driver receive the data? The patent only talks about a “display system” that shows the feature to the driver. No specific were mentioned on what this display system will consist of, but it could come in the form of a head-up display that will show all the pertinent information the driver needs to assess a specific portion of a track and give the necessary recommendations on how to best drive through that portion. The system can even take the “assistance” a step further by taking control – to a certain extent – the steering, braking, or acceleration of the car in the event certain situations call for it. The system has enormous potential if Toyota goes ahead and develops the technology.
There’s been no hints from the Japanese automaker on whether it plans to proceed past the patent application stage, but considering that the company first applied for this patent in May 2015 (the United States Patent and Trademark Office only published it in October 2016), it’s worth wondering if Toyota has already made significant leaps in the development of the technology.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Toyota Loses Le Mans to Porsche in Dramatic Race Finale: Video
The 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans turned out to be one of the most dramatic endurance races in history after the leading Toyota prototype lost power and stopped on the pit straight with only five minutes to go, handing over the big win to Porsche. The German team won its 18th title at Le Mans, setting a new record for the most iconic motorsport event in Europe.
The race got underway on Saturday under a safety car due to torrential rain. With Audi’s R18 hybrids having dropped out pretty early, the battle for the overall win became a Toyota vs Porsche affair before the night settled over Circuit de la Sarthe. The TS050 of Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson, and Kazuki Nakajima looked set for victory after a solid run coupled with Toyota’s excellent refueling strategy, but tragedy struck with five minutes to go when Nakajima started losing power.
Much to the team’s despair, the Toyota came to a halt on the pit straight with just one lap to go, giving way to the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb. Prior to losing power, Nakajima had a 50-second lead. At the end of the day, Toyota’s reliability failed when it mattered most. What a blow!
The video above captures the final moments of the race. While Toyota’s drivers and engineers had nothing to do but stare at the screen and witness their best chance at finally winning Le Mans vanish into thin air, the folks in the Porsche stand were celebrating one of the luckiest wins in motorsport history. Hit play to check it out and stay tuned for our full report of the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Toyota Debuts Tundra TRD Pro Trophy Truck, Announces BJ Baldwin as Driver
Long-time off-road racer BJ “Ballistic” Baldwin has joined forces with Toyota for the upcoming season of SCORE International and Best in the Desert and will pilot a Tundra TRD Pro Baja truck custom-built for high-speed desert running.
“Joining the Toyota Racing family in an all-new Tundra is really an honor,” said Baldwin. “As a kid I’d watch Toyota trucks dominate the field with one of my all-time heroes, Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart, behind the wheel. I’m looking forward to continuing the winning tradition and returning Toyota to the top of the winner’s circle!”
Toyota certainly has an iconic off-road racing heritage, so it’s no wonder the automaker is looking to continue its legacy. Baldwin is perhaps one of the best drivers in modern times, having won five U.S. national off-road racing titles that include three SCORE International championships, one Baja 500 and two Baja 1000 first place finishes. Baldwin even holds a class championship in the famed Dakar Rally.
“BJ’s successful racing record, his adventurous attitude, and his ceaseless dedication to honing himself and his craft speaks volumes to Toyota’s core ‘Let’s Go Places’ and kaizen philosophies,” said Cooper Ericksen, Toyota vice president, vehicle marketing and communications. “We look forward to having BJ and his Tundra involved in this next chapter of Toyota’s desert racing story that so far includes 11 Baja 500 and two Baja 1000 wins.”
Toyota and Baldwin will begin competing this summer with the custom-built Tundra TRD Pro. Toyota has not released specific details on the truck, but expect it come with a high-horsepower V-8, massive suspension parts, and a hand-built, tube-frame chassis.
Continue reading for more information
2016 Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1
It’s no secret Toyota has been struggling with is TS Hybrid racer. The TS030 failed to finish in 2012, and in 2013, it only came in second. For 2014, a narrower car was required per FIA regulations, and during development, Toyota added a new Aisin electric motor and AWD to its new TS040 Hybrid. Toyota Racing finished first in 2014, but that was short lived, with 2015 being a disappointment.
This year, Toyota went back to the drawing board and came up with a new hybrid racer called the TS050 Hybrid (big surprise there, right?). The name isn’t exactly original, but Toyota’s LMP1 racer did take on some significant changes. Debuting at the Pail Ricard circuit in France, the racer features a new powertrain concept, as well as a new energy storage system, a redesigned chassis, and some minor changes outside.
Toshio Sato, the Team President of Toyota Gazoo Racing, said, "Our clear target this year is to compete again at the front, after a very disappointing 2015 season. In Higashi-Fuji and Cologne, there has been a huge effort to prepare for this season; everyone is highly motivated and pushing together to get back onto the centre of the podium.”
So far, the TS050 Hybrid has covered nearly 14,000 miles in testing, with another test taking place right now at the Pail Ricard Circuit. Its first official race will be at the 6 hours of Silverstone on April 17th, when the World Endurance Championship kicks off. So, now that we’ve covered a little bit about the TS050, let’s look deeper into what the engineers did to give Toyota the upper hand in this year’s season.
Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1.
Toyota participated in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring from 2007 to 2014 under the nomenclature of GAZOO racing. Then, in April of 2015, Toyota GAZOO racing was conceived as a way to unite the activities of GAZOO Racing, Toyota Racing and Lexus Racing. The goal was to put all three under the same roof, with a focus on creating better car and bringing in an increasingly wider range of enthusiasts. Now, as we work our way through the first month of 2016, Toyota has released some rather interesting news.
Just today, it has been announced that Toyota GAZOO racing has entered the Lexus RC and Lexus RC F into the 24 Hours of Nürburgring for 2016. That’s not the most interesting part, though. Remember the 2014 Toyota C-HR Concept from 2014 Paris Motor Show? Or, how about the second iteration of it that debuted at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show? Well that concept, in what will be the closest form of a production version we’ve seen so far, will debut at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring this year as the Toyota C-HR Racing.
In all reality, that is pretty wild news. Since the first concept debuted back in 2014, certain aspects of it – primarily the drivetrain – has been kept a closely guarded secret. In 2015, the concept was shown with a design that was closer to being ready for production, but we were still left wondering just want was hidden under the hood. With the press release that flew off the printer today, Toyota included a rendering of the Toyota C-HR Racing, but the real details are still filed away in Toyota’s room of classified information. At least now we’re getting to see what the drivable variant of the C-HR will probably look like, even if it is designed solely for the race track. I really wish we knew just what the “full-hybrid powertrain” under the hood was all about, but until Toyota decides we’re worthy of that information, we can at least speculate. That said, let’s take a gander at the C-HR, what we see in the newly released image, and make a few predictions while we’re at it.
Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota C-HR Racing.