view thumbnails grid view horizontal compact blog view
2019 Toyota Avalon TRD Pro Concept

2019 Toyota Avalon TRD Pro Concept

This is one Toyota Avalon that you need to buckle up for

A year after unveiling a tricked-out TRD version of the Avalon, Toyota is back at it with an even more radical setup for its resident full-size four-door sedan. It’s called the Toyota Avalon TRD Pro Concept, and it’s loaded to the brim with track-spec modifications that enhance every detail of the sedan.

From aerodynamic modifications to powertrain enhancements, the Avalon TRD Pro Concept has them all. It’s a fitting homage to TRD’s 40th anniversary, though it would probably be even cooler if Toyota has plans to produce it in some capacity. For now, we can enjoy the Avalon TRD Pro Concept for what it is: a glimpse into what a full-blown, track-spec Toyota Avalon could look like if it was left in the hands of TRD. Maybe someday we can also find out what it feels like to drive.

Read more
2019 Toyota Supra Drift By HKS (2JZ)

2019 Toyota Supra Drift By HKS (2JZ)

HKS drops the iconic 2JZ-GTE engine in the fifth-gen Supra

The 2019 Toyota GR Supra Drift by HKS is a heavily modified Supra that will make its debut at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed in July. Built by HKS, a Japanese company known for modifying cars and selling aftermarket parts, this Toyota Supra looks like a full-fledged race car and drifts like no other fifth-generation Supra. The really cool thing is that it has a 2JZ-GTE engine under the hood instead of the Supra’s BMW-sourced mill.

Are you happy that the Supra is finally back but you’re also upset that it has a BMW engine? Are you crazy about the iconic 2JZ-GTE in the previous Supra? Well, this might be the car you’ve been looking for. It looks like the new Supra but it sounds and drifts like the old Supra. The bad news is that you can’t take it home. The good news is that you can see it in action at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Read more
2019 Papadakis Racing Toyota Corolla Hatch Formula Drift Car

2019 Papadakis Racing Toyota Corolla Hatch Formula Drift Car

A four-figure five-door bringing the heat

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.

Read more
2019 Toyota GR Supra GT4 Concept

2019 Toyota GR Supra GT4 Concept

The Japanese manufacturer tries to sell this racer as merely a concept but it looks ready to hit the track to us

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!

Read more
2020 Toyota Supra GR

2020 Toyota Supra GR

Is the souped-up Supra testing at the Nürburgring now?

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.

Read more
2019 Toyota Supra NASCAR Race Car

2019 Toyota Supra NASCAR Race Car

Replaces the Camry in the Xfinity Series starting in 2019

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.

Read more
2018 Toyota Camry Daniel Suarez

2018 Toyota Camry Daniel Suarez

A fresh take on Toyota’s bread and butter

While there are plenty of older builders out there, car modification is inherently a youthful endeavor, don’tcha think? Indeed, how many older individuals do you see out there driving custom cars versus the younger crowd? As such, it makes sense that Toyota asked its youngest NASCAR driver, 25-year-old Daniel Suarez, to have a hand in building this custom Camry. Granted, Toyota is giving several of its NASCAR drivers a chance to customize their own 2018 Camry, but we think Suarez might have a leg up on his colleagues. Funny enough, not only is Suarez’s youthful demeanor an asset but so is his experience. “I grew up in the car customization business,” he explains, “so I’m very hands-on when it comes to this kind of project. I wanted to keep the Camry’s athletic, refined aspect but morph it into a track-ready vehicle.” As such, his revisions to the popular four-door sedan include new body components, a white-on-black paint scheme, a freshened interior, a few extra ponies under the hood, and a sharp suspension set-up.

Suarez currently competes in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, driving with Joe Gibbs Racing in the number 19 Camry. He also enjoys the occasional stint in the Xfinity Series behind the wheel of the Joe Gibbs Racing number 18 and number 20 Camrys. The young talent secured a championship win in the Xfinity Series last year – the question is, can his Camry secure some attention at SEMA in 2017?

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Camry Daniel Suarez.

Read more
2018 Toyota Camry NASCAR Cup Car

2018 Toyota Camry NASCAR Cup Car

The redesigned, gorgeous Camry hits the race track in NASCAR suit

At the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, Toyota unveiled the eighth-generation Camry, the company’s sportiest and most advanced midsize sedan to date. Alongside the new road car, the Japanese carmaker also took the covers off its new NASCAR racer, which will be used in the top-level Cup Series starting this year.

Although it’s by no means new under the skin, the Camry NASCAR is completely new on the outside, featuring all the important design elements seen on the road car. To achieve this, Camry chief designer Masato Katsumata oversaw the project with engineers from Calty Design, Toyota’s North American design studio, and Toyota Racing Development (TRD).

Up front, the road-going and the NASCAR models are almost identical. Of course, the race car is lower and wider and details such as the headlamps, grilles, and vents are only painted, but the nose and the engine hood are true to the car you’ll find in dealerships later in 2017. As with most modern NASCAR racers, the side view is significantly different due to the simulated two-door design, the shorter wheelbase, and the longer rear overhang. The same goes for the rear end, which uses a much simpler bumper and a bigger spoiler due to the series’ aerodynamic regulations.

All told, Toyota’s new NASCAR weapon is as gorgeous as the road-going sedan.

“The collaboration between Calty Design Group and TRD has produced a NASCAR Camry that showcases aggressive styling that is sure to turn heads on the race track and among our fans in Toyota showrooms across the country. Reimagining both the Camry race car and its production counterpart has been a tremendous undertaking and our goal has been to maintain parallel design characteristics so our fans can enjoy driving a Camry that closely resembles the one their favorite NASCAR driver races each weekend,” said Ed Laukes, vice president of Integrated Marketing Operations for Toyota Motor Sales.

The NASCAR Camry will make its track debut at Daytona Speedway on February 18 in The Clash at Daytona, before the Daytona 500 race on February 26. Toyota enters the 2017 NASCAR season as the defending champion after winning the manufacturers’ championship for the first time in 2016. As of 2017, Toyota also won the drivers’ championship in 2015, while Camry drivers have won 95 races since the company joined the series in 2007.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Toyota Camry NASCAR Cup Car.

Read more
2017 Toyota Yaris WRC

2017 Toyota Yaris WRC

The Japanese automaker returns to the WRC after nearly two decades

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.

Read more
2017 Toyota Motorsport GT86 CS-Cup

2017 Toyota Motorsport GT86 CS-Cup

Toyota brings race-spec 86 to SEMA, takes it back to Japan for one-make series

The Toyota GT86 — also known as the 86 in North America and Asia — was launched in early 2012 as a two-door sports car of fairly compact dimensions. The result of a collaboration between Toyota and Subaru, the coupe was originally sold under three brands: the Toyota 86, Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S (the latter was discontinued in 2016). The sports car is available with just one engine, a 2.0-liter boxer provided by Subaru, the same company that manufactures the GT86 in Japan. Received with great enthusiasm and awarded with several titles in 2012, the GT86 was criticized in recent years for the lack of drivetrain upgrades and a turbocharged engine. Although Toyota gave the GT86 a mid-cycle facelift for 2017, the drivetrain carried over unchanged save for the additional five horsepower and five pound-feet of torque added by the revised manual transmission.

At the 2016 SEMA Show, Toyota finally unveiled a more powerful version of the GT86, dubbed CS-Cup, developed by its Motorsport division. However, the vehicle wasn’t designed as a road-going production model, but for a one-make racing series in Japan. What’s it doing at the SEMA Show, you ask? Well, the company said it "wanted to bring it here to inspire, innovate, and excite." Needless to say, the CS-Cup arrival on U.S. soil was pretty exciting, but it quickly became upsetting at the thought that Toyota still doesn’t want to give us a higher performance model.

We can still dream though...

Back to car in question, the CS-Cup is the third race-spec GT86 is a series of vehicles that came to life in 2012, when Toyota Motorsport launched the CS-V3 VLN. It was followed by the CS-R3 rally car in 2015, and now the CS-Cup. Let’s find out more about it in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Motorsport GT86 CS-Cup.

Read more
2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Race Truck

2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Race Truck

Toyota takes on the desert

Toyota has a long history with desert racing. In fact, Toyota started back in 1979 as a marketing tool to help advertise the trucks’ durability to a country completely dominated by domestic branded trucks. Fast-forward to today, and Toyota is still using desert racing as a way to attract attention to its brand and trucks. More specifically, this truck is build to herald the attributes of the 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro.

This truck started life as a factory Tacoma TRD Pro, but got tons of upgrades in preparation for its entry into “The Great American Off-Road Race,” the Mint 400. Held March 1-5, 2017 in Las Vegas, the Mint 400 is one of the longest and most grueling off-road races in the U.S.

The truck is modified to help it better handle the rigors of long-distance off-road racing, but the majority of its parts are factory. “The Tacoma TRD Pro Race Truck is the most badass Tacoma we’ve developed,” says John Myers, National Trucks Vehicle Marketing and Communications Manager at Toyota Motor Sales. “The Mint 400 represents the most robust example of desert racing. It’s an excellent proving ground for this special build.”

So, does the Tacoma TRD Pro Race Truck have what it takes to last 400 miles in the roughest and fastest terrain this side of the Mexican border? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Race Truck.

Read more
2016 Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1

2016 Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1

Toyota jumps into the 8-megajoule energy class with its new TS050 race car

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.

Read more
2016 Toyota C-HR Racing

2016 Toyota C-HR Racing

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.

Read more
For Sale: Ex-NASCAR Toyota Tundra Tuned For Autocross

For Sale: Ex-NASCAR Toyota Tundra Tuned For Autocross

Ever want to buy a NASCAR race truck? Of course you have; because what truck guy wouldn’t want a 700-horsepower, race slicks-wearing, fully caged Camping World-class truck? Well this Toyota Tundra is for sale – and at the decent price of $49,995.

Read more
2015 Toyota Yaris WRC

2015 Toyota Yaris WRC

A full 18 years after Toyota discontinued its participation in the WRC, the Japanese automaker is looking to make a comeback with this battle-ready Yaris. Plans are currently set to see the pumped-up subcompact make its competition debut in 2017, with development now proceeding under the guidance of Cologne-based motor racing team Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG). Previously known as Toyota Team Europe, TMG is responsible for garnering each of the marque’s titles in this highest form of rally racing.

The last time a Toyota was seen scrambling for traction on a stage of the World Rally Championship was in 1999, with the Corolla WRC. That particular vehicle represented the carmaker’s final entry in the sport after more than 25 years of continuous rally competition, excluding a one-year ban in 1995 following the discovery of illegal turbo restrictors. Despite this singular blemish, Toyota’s overall record is good, including three manufacturer’s titles and four driver’s titles, thanks in no small part to the venerable TMG-prepped Celica GT-Four.

An assortment of drivers and engineers are currently joining the team ranks to prepare for 2017. But will Toyota keep pace after an absence of nearly two decades?

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Toyota Yaris WRC.

Read more
2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Desert Race Truck

2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Desert Race Truck

Built for the most extreme desert racing, this Tundra TRD Pro is headed to Vegas for the SEMA show November 4th through 7th. Then it will truck down to the famous town of Ensenada, Mexico to compete in the Full Size Stock class of the Baja 1000 taking place November 12th through 16th.

“The Baja 1000 is the ultimate proving grounds for research and development,” said Toyota Pickup Trucks Chief Engineer Mike Sweers. “It helps us to continuously improve our trucks.” The truck started life as a regular (if you can call it that) Tundra TRD Pro and was turned into a Baja racer complete with a gutted interior with racing seats, a full roll cage, heavily upgraded suspension components with remote reservoir shock absorbers, a few engine tweaks, and massive BFGoodrich Mud Terrain tires. Off-road lights will guide the way after dark and two spare tires ride along in case of trouble.

In case that trouble is more severe or the truck just needs refueling, Toyota is bringing three additional support trucks; another Tundra, a 4Runner, and a Tacoma, with all being TRD Pro editions. Each is outfitted with numerous modifications to help deal with the harsh terrain and case truck duties.

Toyota is bringing along racing legend Ivan “Ironman” Stewart as the teams coach and mentor while Toyota’s own Sweers will serve as one of two navigators.

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Desert Race Truck.

Read more
2015 Toyota Camry NASCAR Race Car

2015 Toyota Camry NASCAR Race Car

Toyota joined the NASCAR series in 2004, putting an end to a 44-year period in which the sport was restricted to American car makers. The Japanese automaker entered the truck series with the Tundra at first, but it joined the top-tier Sprint Cup Series with the Camry three years later. Although it has yet to win a championship in seven years as of 2014, the Camry has become increasingly competitive since its introduction, scoring many wins and attracting major teams and drivers. Toyota managed to finish the 2013 season in second place, ending the series above Ford and below Chevrolet with 14 wins out of 36 starts. You’ve gotta hand it to Toyota as it was only a few points away from becoming the first non-U.S. automaker to win the Sprint Cup since the series’ formation in 1949. As we get closer to the 2015 season, the Japanese manufacturer is introducing an update to the Camry race car, which follows a facelift launched for the road-legal sedan, the best-selling car in America for 12 straight years.

Naturally, the purpose of this update is to transfer the looks of the refreshed 2015 Camry onto the NASCAR track, and it brings no drivetrain improvements whatsoever, as all Gen-6 NASCAR models are built on the same underpinnings. Read on to find out what makes the 2015 Camry race car different when compared to its predecessor.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Toyota Camry NASCAR Race Car.

Read more
2015 Toyota TRD Pro Tundra Tecate SCORE Baja 1000

2015 Toyota TRD Pro Tundra Tecate SCORE Baja 1000

Toyota has announced it will enter a new Tundra TRD Pro series truck in the 2014Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 taking place in mid-November 2014. The Tundra TRD Pro being entered is only slightly modified in order to compete in the full-size truck class, leaving the majority of the truck as stock. “Competing in the full size sock Class allows our team to test the Tundra TRD Pro as close to stock as possible,” says Andrew Franceschini of Toyota. “[That] showcases its strength and durability in the Mexican desert’s treacherous terrain.”

A few items were added to the Tundra TRD Pro in order to compete, mainly to do with safety. A full roll cage and safety fuel cell was added, along with Mastercraft racing seats with five-point harnesses. A full suite of GPS navigation and race communication radio equipment was also thrown in.

The truck will compete in the 47th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, a race spanning over the harsh desert terrain between Ensenada, Baja California to La Paz, Baja California Sur. Though the race’s name suggests otherwise, the endurance even lasts a grueling 1,130 miles, testing both vehicle and occupants.

The Baja 1000 is set to take place November 12th through the 16th. 2014 with several checkpoints between the start and finish lines. Check back with TopSpeed for more coverage of the Baja 1000, but until then, check out more information on the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro truck.

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota TRD Pro Tundra Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.

Read more
2015 Toyota GT86 CS-R3 Rally Car

2015 Toyota GT86 CS-R3 Rally Car

The Toyota GT86 was launched in 2012, along with its Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S siblings. Although the GT86 was only sold in Europe, both the BRZ and the FR-S arrived in the United States for the 2013 model year. All three sports cars share the same 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, boxer engine that delivers 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. The powerplant mates to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic and enables each of the triplets to sprint from naught to 60 mph in 6.9 to 7.6 seconds, respectively. Far from being one of the fastest sports car on the market, the Toyota GT86 is definitely one of the most affordable, a feat that made it quite popular with consumers.

As we move into the 2015 model year, Toyobaru has yet to introduce the highly anticipated performance update the GT86/BRZ/FR-S dearly needs. However, the GT86 nameplate expanded to receive a brand-new member in the shape of a rally car. Yes folks, Toyota is joining the World Rally Championship with an R3-spec version of its sports car. The race-ready GT86 is not only more powerful, but lighter too, and it just fired up our enthusiasm toward a faster road-going version.

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota GT86 CS-R3 Rally Car.

Read more
2014 Toyota Racing TS040 Hybrid

2014 Toyota Racing TS040 Hybrid

Toyota’s history with the 24 Hours of Le Mans goes way back to 1985, but, to the automaker’s dismay, the Japanese have yet to clinch an overall win. It was close though, scoring second-place finishes on four occasions.

Toyota’s earlier efforts ceased after the 1999 race, right before Audi rose to power to become the fierce "oppressor" that won 13 out of the last 14 events. Yes, we’ve included Bentley’s success from 2003 as well, because the Speed 8 was nothing but an Audi R8 underneath.

With the Germans sweeping just about anything in their way, Toyota returned to Circuit de la Sarthe in 2012. Itsweapon of choice, the TS030 Hybrid, failed to finish, sending team engineers back to the drawing board. The 2013 evolution of the race car was more competitive, but Toyota Racing had to settle with second place once again.

Fortunately, Toyota’s not willing to give up just yet, and the Audi - Toyota prototype class war will see another battle this year. In fact, it’s going to be a three-way, because Porsche will be returning to France, after 16 years, with their latest hybrid machine - the 919.

Anyway, Toyota won’t be fielding an updated TS030, but a brand-new vehicle. Dubbed TS040 Hybrid (no surprises here), the new TMG-developed LMP1 car will be quite different. And we’re not talking about the fact that it’ll be narrower, as required by new FIA regulations, it will also benefit from all-wheel drive.

It appears the Japanese are keeping the gasoline-electric drivertrain, with the naturally-aspirated V-8 motivating the rear wheels. For 2014, however, an Aisin electric motor will be spinning the front axle, while a DENSO inverter will be in charge of sending energy to a super-capacitor during braking. Nothing too fancy to today’s standards, but competitive enough for endurance racing.

Toyota will field two TS040 Hybrids in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans and World Endurance Championship. The driver lineup will remain unchanged, with Alexander Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre, Kazuki Nakajima, Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Stephane Sarrazin sharing duties.

The new race cars will make their first public appearances at FIA’s official test session at the Paul Ricard Circuit on March 28, so make sure you stick around for additional details.

Updated 03/27/2014: The new Toyota TS040 Hybrid made its world debut today at Paul Ricard circuit in the South of France. Check out the new specs and images revealed at the event!

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota Racing TS040 Hybrid.

Read more
2013 Toyota TR 86

2013 Toyota TR 86

A few weeks ago, word came out of the Goodwood Festival of Speed that Toyota was considering setting up a one-make race car series for the GT 86.

What it probably didn’t know was that the car already has one, or at least, is set to have one.

Over in New Zealand, the Toyota TR 86, a racecar built using the online-only 86 RC model as its basis, was first introduced to the public at last weekend’s CRC Speedshow in Auckland.

More than just being a show car, the TR 86 is actually a turn-key competition race car that was designed and developed for use in a variety of racing competitions, including its on one-make racing series in New Zealand as granted by MotorSport New Zealand, the country’s FIA-appointed national sanctioning body.

As for the TR 86 itself, the car was built with the idea of using it as a tried-and-true race car. That entailed stripping it of all its amenities and fitting the full breadth of racing equipment, including: Sparco competition seats and race harnesses; an FIA-approved roll cage installed by Neil Allport Motorsports; racing brake rotors and calipers; and a set of 18-inch Speedline alloy wheels.

It’ll also use Motec’s new C125 color data screen and logger, a data system that provides access to a wide range of information about the car’s performance in any given practice, qualifying or race session.

Similarly, work was also done on the car’s engine using the standard Toyota management system with its proprietary software package. The racecar’s sump was also strengthened to ensure that no oil spills occur and it doesn’t surge under high cornering forces. No specific performance numbers were given but using the 86 Griffon Concept as a peg, we expect the TR 86 to have close to 300 horsepower under its hood, a number that is more than enough, considering that the TR 86, even with a full fuel load, only weighs 1,195 kg (2,634 pounds).

Click past the jump to read about the TR 86’s one-make racing series in New Zealand

Read more
2013 Toyota TMG EV P002

2013 Toyota TMG EV P002

The 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was quite a successful one for Toyota, as the company set a new EV record of 10:15.380 up the hill in the Electric class. For this year’s hill climb, the company prepared an improved version of its electric car in an attempt to break its previous run.

The improved version of the P002 is powered by an electric motor that takes its power from a 42 kWh lithium-ion battery. This electric drivetrain delivers a total of 536 horsepower (up from the previous 469 horsepower) and a peak torque of 885 pound-feet. The new P002 can hit a top speed of 142 mph.

The model is being developed on a Radical chassis and features an aerodynamic package to help keep the car glued to the ground at high speeds.

The new TMG EV P002 will be driven by Rod Millen at Pikes Peak on June 30th and one week later it will arrive at Le Mans 24 Hours.

Click past the jump to read more about the TMG EV P002 technical specifications.

Read more
2013 Monster Sport Super 86 Pikes Peak Race Car

2013 Monster Sport Super 86 Pikes Peak Race Car

For years, Nobuhiro ’Monster’ Tajima was considered the king of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. All that, however, changed last year when Rhys Millen broke Tajima’s world record up the hill with a time of 9:46.164 in a modified Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

But if you thought that the Japanese legend would take that defeat sitting down, you got another thing coming. And by ’another thing’, we mean the Monster Sport Super 86.

That’s the name of the Toyota GT 86-sourced race Monster Tajima will be bringing to Pikes Peak this year. Yep, say good bye to the Sport E-RUNNER because the man, the myth, and the legend will be driving a brand new bad boy in his quest to reclaim the Pikes Peak record.

Looking at the Super 86, you’d be hard-pressed to think that it’s an actual GT 86. There are styling similarities, particularly the use of the sports car’s front end, but for the most part, the similarities come few and far in between.

Plus, the Super 86 is designed to compete in the Pikes Peak Unlimited Class, which pretty much means that engineers have free reign to build a car that can throw down with the best of ’em.

There are very few specific details about the Super 86, but there are whispers that the racecar is set to be powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine that carries an output of 670 horsepower to go with an all-wheel-drive system.

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota GT 86

Read more