We may be about to get some hot Toyota models.
We had to do a double-take when we first heard this news. Apparently Toyota wants to create a sub-brand akin to BMW's M division and Mercedes-AMG. We thought that this would mean the TRD brand, but Toyota previously expressed interest in expanding its partnership with Gazoo Racing, a company that predominantly sells modified road cars to the Japanese market. In an interview with Autocar, Koei Saga, the boss of both Gazoo Racing and Toyota’s powertrain division said that "it is my intention" to expand the brand's presence.
He went on to say that “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 M brand.” You may think that Toyota targeting M and AMG is a silly idea, but Gazoo Racing does have what it takes. The company built the GT86 GRMN, which was limited to only 100 units. Gazoo also built the GRMN Sports FR Concept, which took the 2.0-liter engine and added both a turbocharger and supercharger for a total of 315 horsepower. Clearly the Gazoo brand knows how to build some awesome cars.
Saga wouldn't comment on whether Gazoo would have a role in developing the next-generation Supra that is being codeveloped with BMW. We still think that Gazoo might have what it takes to give Toyota a competitive performance brand.