If you didn’t know, Toyota used to race in F1. The Japanese auto giant pulled out of the world’s premier racing series (the F1 cars turn right as often as they turn left) in 2009 after the world economy got flushed down the fish bowl, and the Germany-based Toyota Motorsport GmbH, which was responsible for that effort, has basically twiddled its automotive thumbs ever since. Now, TMG says it wants to be Toyota’s version of Mercedes-Benz’ performance division, AMG.
“After we stopped F1, we decided several things. One of these things is to become a [sic] AMG-type company; we are now trying [to make it happen]. How feasible [it will be] I don’t know. But we are in a very good position,” said Yoshiaki Kinoshita, president of TMG, speaking to media last week at TMG’s Cologne facility.
Toyota’s decision is not yet finalized, but it is a curious consideration since it already has TRD (Toyota Racing Development), which includes a host of dealer-installed performance parts, and Lexus’ F-Sport division, as well as the fact that TMG currently operates with one-quarter of the personnel it needed in 2009.
The Cologne facility presently operates a few smaller projects, like Toyota’s Le Mans car, a turbocharged version of the Yaris that may soon compete in the World Rally Championship, and a 650-hp, twin-turbocharged Lexus LS 460.
According to Australia’s CarAdvice.com.au, Toyota has not confirmed that TMG will be its new AMG, but the website did speculate that it could happen in 6-9 months.