Toyota is to return to rallying with the entry-level TMG Yaris R1A car, it has been announced.
The TMG Yaris R1A will be showcased in public for the first time at ADAC Rallye Deutschland, the ninth round in the 2012 World Rally Championship, later this month.
It will run as the 'zero car' on the event, driven by Isolde Holderied, a former works driver in the German Rally Championship during TMG's world championship-winning rally era. TMG team member Herbie Hossbach will co-drive.
“I am really excited to be behind the wheel of a new Toyota rally car again; it's been a long time!” Holderied said. “TMG's concept with the TMG Yaris R1A is very positive because it makes rallying more accessible to potential drivers, particularly young people.
“It's great that TMG is returning to the world of rallying and I hope this demonstration at Rallye Deutschland is the start of a big future for this car. I expect to have a lot of fun.”
Yoshiaki Kinoshita, TMG's president, added: “It is a great thrill for TMG to return to rallying, a discipline in which we enjoyed a great deal of success in the past. The TMG Yaris R1A is a completely different project compared to our WRC past; it is an affordable but exciting car which makes rallying's major events accessible to a whole range of participants.
“We have already received numerous inquiries about this car so we know there is a huge appetite in the rally world for a new Toyota; I hope this is the start of a new rally dynasty at TMG.”
The TMG Yaris R1A will cost approximately 22,500 Euros and before the end of the year Toyota expects it to become the first car in the world to be awarded FIA R1A (up to 1400cc) homologation. This qualifies the car to compete on regional, national and international competitions all the way up to FIA World Rally Championship level.