Koji Sato's running of the mothership could help his predecessor spend more time developing sports cars.
According to Autocar, new Toyota CEO Koji Sato is of a mind to produce more Gazoo Racing-branded sports cars and has suggested that the departure of his predecessor from the top job could actually help accelerate the introduction of new sporty vehicles. Speaking after Toyota's one-two finish in the World Endurance Championship race at Spa, Sato said, "The Gazoo brand will be acknowledged for the future - and maybe we can even speed it up."
Following the departure of Akio Toyoda, who founded Gazoo Racing in 2007, Toyota revealed a renewed electrification plan, and many suspected that the GR division might get less attention from the automaker. But Sato seems to think that Toyoda's new role will give him more freedom to create the cars enthusiasts love, like the GR86, GR Supra, GR Yaris, and GR Corolla.
Toyoda cemented a reputation as a prudent businessman, an inspired visionary, and, most of all, a car enthusiast. As a keen racer himself, the former boss was known by the company as 'Master Driver,' and Sato says that he earned that title while running one of the largest automakers on the planet. Now as chairman, he could have a little more free time to push exciting cars through corporate approval.
"Our Master Driver was also president of the company at the same time as he had a steering wheel in his hand for Gazoo," commented Sato. "Now he is only chairman; maybe he will have a lot more time to develop cars for them?"
This does not confirm any specific new model, but it got us wondering what is missing from the Toyota GR lineup. Obviously, a revival of the MR2 moniker seems like a good fit, but on the more extreme side, Toyota has been rumored to be working on a hypercar for some time.
The automaker has gone backward and forward on this subject over the past couple of years, but perhaps with a freer schedule, a successor who is leading a comprehensive electrification charge, and a history of several well-received enthusiast vehicles, Toyoda may yet find a way to make our dreams come true.
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