The factory race team's head says a range of performance road cars is being planned.
A couple of years ago, Toyota brought its various factory racing programs together under the Toyota Gazoo Racing banner. Like BMW’s M Division and AMG, Toyota is reportedly considering launching a range of performance road cars under the Gazoo brand to rival the aforementioned Germans.
Gazoo Racing coordinates Toyota’s German-based World Endurance Championship program, its Finnish-based World Rally Championship team, and the South African-based Dakar Rally outfit, as well as running its own experimental cars in the Nurburgring 24 Hours.
On top of that, it also sells limited numbers of tuned GRMN (Gazoo Racing Masters of Nurburgring) and G’s models in Japan - not to be confused with the TRD (Toyota Racing Developments) models sold elsewhere in the world.
Speaking to Autocar, Gazoo Racing head Koei Saga said it “is my intention” to branch out into road cars, drawing a link between that side of the Toyota business and its racing activities.
Saga added: “In Europe, the challenge is bigger because we have more competitors here, and it is also an issue of cost. However, I am very much working on that so we can have a brand like the [BMW] M brand.”
Saga would not comment on whether or not Gazoo has any involvement in the development of the upcoming Supra.
Toyota first used the Gazoo name in the mid-1990s for an innovative online used car search tool, one of the first to feature images - indeed, Gazoo derives from the Japanese word “gazo”, which means “image”. The word has since evolved to mean “garage” in Toyota-speak.
GRMN editions have included a lighter, more powerful GT86 coupe, a Mark X sedan with a carbon roof, and a turbocharged Vitz/Yaris. Sadly, the bonkers, 128 horsepower (95 kilowatts), supercharged iQ never made it to production.
Most of Toyota's road cars aren't exactly known for being exciting, but do you think a new performance brand could turn that image around?