Written by Simon McBride ▼

Toyota chief gives strongest hint at WRC return

Toyota chief gives strongest hint at WRC return

Toyota president Akio Toyoda has given the strongest hint that the Japanese maker will return to the World Rally Championship.

Toyota last took part in the WRC in 1999 season when Toyota Team Europe ran the Corolla in the series.

Interviewed by ex-Toyota employee George Donaldson at Rally Finland, Toyoda said: ‘"I came here to learn about WRC...Toyota DNA of rally is really a lot to me. As a top guy of the company I want to continue that legend but as you know Toyota is a company, nobody listens to the president, so I have to show everybody that Toyota needs rally. I have to show everybody that Toyota needs rally to make ever-better cars... then the rally [is] needed."

When asked about a timeframe of when the company may return, Toyada concluded: "we don't know yet...but please look at our activities."

Toyada is currently at Rally Finland and has been watching a GT86 4WD car running on a private test. The car has been built by Tommi Makinen Racing in Finland.

Toyoda is known for being a petrolhead, and given his drive and vision, it may not be long until we see Toyota back in the WRC.

A Toyota UK source told MotorTorque that while the GT86 is being used a test mule, if it were to take part in WRC, the Auris would be the car of choice thanks to its dimensions suiting WRC requirements.