Toyota has announced a technology partnership with Microsoft for 2017, the season which will mark the Japanese manufacturer's return to the WRC.

Toyota's outfit, led by former WRC champion Tommi Makinen, will enter the series as one of five factory teams in 2017.

Its newly-formed partnership with Microsoft will see the American company develop a data analysis platform, a team information-sharing system and enhance interaction with fans.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda said: "I believe that, like Toyota, Microsoft aims to enrich society in meaningful ways."

"Based on the on-going partnership, we aim to further develop our people and enhance our cars through the use of IT in motorsports to promote ‘ever-better cars’."

Toyota also announced it will, like most of the current field, use Michelin tyres next year.

In addition, DMG Mori and Panasonic Corporation will also become partners of the team for 2017.

Toyota has yet to announce drivers for the upcoming campaign, but Juho Hanninen and Esapekka Lappi are widely anticipated to be confirmed for the new project.


Gallery: Toyota 2017 WRC return