A new Toyota rally car, the GT86 CS-R3, will debut to the public next month when it partakes in the Rallye Deutschland. The motor sport event serves as the ninth round of this year’s World Rally Championship (WRC).
Toyota has a history of success in the World Rally Championship, one of the most challenging motor sports in the world. The last time the Japanese manufacturer competed in the sport, however, was back in 1999, when it used the Corolla hatchback.
Prior the manufacturer’s withdrawal after the 1999 season, Toyota achieved four drivers’ titles and three constructor titles’ in the WRC.
The arrival of the GT86 CS-R3 in next week’s rally in Germany marks a welcome comeback of sorts for Toyota into the sport. However, this GT86 model will not actually be racing in next week’s Rally Deutschland.
Instead it is being put through its paces as the official “pathfinder” car. This means its job is to go through each stage of the rally and test them for safety immediately ahead of the field.
At Rally Deutschland, the GT86 CS-R3 will be driven by a double women’s world rally champion named Isolde Holderied. The Toyota GT86 CS-R3 is being developed so that it will eventually comply with R3 regulations, which typically cover rally cars entered by junior drivers.
As the name suggest the GT86 CS-R3 is based on Toyota’s latest sport coupe, the GT86 of course. The current road-going Toyota GT86 remains available in UK showrooms, with pricing starting at just £25,110.
Although Toyota is currently not competing in the WRC full-time, there are very strong hints that they will commit to a competitive return in the not-too-distant future. As well as testing the GT86 CS-R3, Toyota has also earlier this year tested a rally car based on its latest Yaris supermini. This Yaris model will be able to comply with the latest WRC regulations.