Toyota Announces GT86 Rally Car for 2015
Toyota's new rally-spec GT86 will compete in the R3 racing class.
Rally fans, rejoice — Toyota has announced that its European motorsport division Toyota Motorsports GmbH (TMG) is developing a GT86/Scion FR-S rally car. Dubbed the TMG GT86 CS-R3, this rally FR-S will be eligible for competition in the R3 class.
In step with other R3-spec vehicles the Toyota CS-R3 will be equipped with a six-speed sequential gearbox, tuned engine, improved braking, body kit, and limited slip differential. The CS-R3 will also keep the standard rear-wheel drive from the Scion FR-S, rather than switching to the all-wheel-drive arrangement that is common in rallying. Details and complete specs will be released later down the road.
"Rallying is in our blood at TMG so it is very exciting to announce that we will be expanding our rally operations," TMG's principal engineer of customer motorsport Nico Ehlert said in a statement. "The GT86 CS-R3 promises to be a thrilling car on the rally stages; with rear-wheel drive we can expect some dramatic action which is sure to be entertaining for drivers and fans alike."
Toyota's motorsports division has already entered the GT86/Scion FR-S into customer racing in the past, starting the TMG GT86 Cup with its GT86 CS-V3 racecar which launched in 2013. TMG was started in Cologne, Germany in 1979, and it has an established rally heritage with much success in two decades of competition. TMG returned to customer motorsports in 2012 after a long hiatus, launching the Toyota Yaris R1 rally car that would win its class in the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
In September we reported that TMG could potentially become a veritable performance division for future and existing road-going Toyota and Lexus models. We'll see if that actually pans out, but for now it's exciting to see that Toyota is making good on their pursuit of more engaging and driver-focused cars, with TMG and rally sport as an excellent testing ground for the GT86/Scion FR-S.