Toyota R5 could be on the way
Toyota will produce a Yaris R5 car – but not until 2018.
Tommi Makinen says his Finland-based organisation has already started thinking about the new car, with plenty of encouragement from Japan.
Makinen admitted this project could be taken on by Toyota Motorsport in Cologne. So far TMG’S only participation in the car giant’s return to the World Rally Championship is in the development of the engine for the Yaris WRC.
“As soon as we have time to concentrate on that, we will do,” said Makinen. “We are investigating different areas already. We talk to TMG people and, of course, Toyota Motor Company to see what is their overall market and situation. We have investigated that area. We also have the young Japanese drivers [Daiki Arai and Takamoto Katsuta] this could be interesting for them to work on the development of the car.
“This is definitely not for 2017. The first year would be 2018. If we could start now, we could have a car ready late in ’17, but I don’t see any point in bringing the production forward if the car is not fast enough.
“We will concentrate our production to make the car right.”
Makinen has bolstered his squad with the recruitment of further technicians, including around five new staff who have come from the British M-sport squad.