TMG to Become Toyota’s New Performance Division?

Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) made an admirable return to the 24 Hours of LeMans last week by entering two TS030 LMP1 cars in the 24-hour endurance event. Now, the Japanese automaker’s motorsports division has announced that it will start tweaking Toyota passenger cars in a relationship similar to the one between AMG and Mercedes-Benz, reports Australian car news site Car Advice.

Yoshiaki Kinoshita, president of TMG, made the announcement while speaking to media visiting the facility.

“After we stopped Formula One [involvement] we decided several things. One of these things is to become a [Mercedes] AMG-type company; we are now trying [to make it happen]. How feasible [it will be] I don’t know. But we are in a very good position.”

Kinoshita didn’t say what vehicles were in the pipeline. In addition to the TS030s hybrid LMP1 vehicles, the facility has been working on a Toyota Yaris modified for rally racing. The Yaris is equipped with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and could be ready to enter the World RallyChampionship as early as 2014.

Additionally, Kinoshita said that TMG would also work on Lexus vehicles, though he couldn’t confirm which models his division is planning to tweak. Last September, our spy photographer caught a heavily-modified Lexus LS lapping the Nurburgring, but it’s unknown if the flagship tester was from TMG or the brand’s F division. TMG is, however, working on a LS460 project that includes a twin-turbo 4.6-liter V-8.

Source: Car Advice