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Toyota FT-1

Is Toyota About To Launch A New Performance Brand To Take On BMW’s M Division?

According to reports, rumors, general note passing in class, and some shady back alley conversations, Toyota might just be about to unveil a performance division that could rival BMW’s M division, Mercedes’ AMG, or the RS line for Audi.

Now you might be thinking, why would Toyota, a car maker that’s not in the same echelon as the three German brands just mentioned, want to start a performance division to take them on? Well why the hell not, is my answer to that question. Toyota has been lacking in the performance category for some time now, sloughing it off as an afterthought. Yes they have TRD and racing teams, but when you think street performance, you don’t think Toyota.

That might all change very, very soon.

Toyota FT-1

“So I would like to build that major sports car brand within Toyota, like BMW’s M.”

Although Toyota’s own TRD (Toyota Racing Development) tuning arm can trace its association with the marque back to the early 1950s, the influential executive says a further developed and enhanced relationship with Gazoo Racing – the racing and engineering team behind competition assaults by both the Toyota 86 and Lexus LFA on the 24 Hours Nurburgring – has potential.

“That’s one candidate,” Tada-san said.

“BMW and M and Audi and quattro GmbH used to be like the Toyota relationship with Gazoo – it wasn’t really one body, it was two separate things. But because of the time and the continuous effort, now they are together.

“So, I’m wishing that Toyota puts effort continuously, and then someday later, Toyota and Gazoo will be one body.

“The important thing is to keep putting in the effort and continue – never give up.”

Another area Tada-san is making every effort to invoke change within Toyota is in encouraging the marque to produce higher-quality and higher-performing cars, but also cars with more passion behind them.With past Japanese rivals to the Toyota Supra, the Nissan GT-R and Honda NSX, both garnering high levels of interest for their respective brands, Tada-san is well aware of the currently unfulfilled ‘opportunity’ attached to a high-performance flagship Toyota hero car.

“Ah, new Supra…,” Tada-san, well-known as an enthusiast, says while nodding. “It’s waiting for you in Japan,” he jokes.

“We’re putting all the effort into making it happen.

Did he just confirm that they’re working on a new Supra? I think that’s a yes. Even if it’s not, the more the merrier in the performance space in our automotive community. We’re excited to see what Toyota has up it’s sleeve.

(Source: Car Advice)

About Gregson

Gregson's love affair with cars began at a young age thanks to his father who introduced him to racing. He's been a fan ever since he saw his first race live at Watkins Glen at the age of 5. He loves GT3, F1, Rally, Touring, and Le Mans styles of racing. Intermediate knowledge of internal combustion engines. Any reading done for pleasure is devoted to automotive journalism. Gregson owns a WRX and can 4-wheel drift directly into your hedges, no sweat. He currently is a Senior Copywriter for McCann Torre Lazur specializing in pharmaceutical advertising. He lives in New Jersey with his wife Kate and their dog Savannah.

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