2016 Toyota GAZOO Racecars & Series Preview – New TS050 LMP1 Revamp, WRC Yarii + New C-HR Racing and RC GT3


Toyota Motorsport GmbH is now Toyota GAZOO Racing — with the new Euro-based entity bringing much of Toyota and Lexus’ racing efforts under one roof.

The 2016 season outline is mindboggling!  Lots of new racecars and globetrotting race series.  We have a look at new rally cars:

— Land Cruiser rally truck

— Yaris WRC

— Yaris GRMN

— GT86

And new endurance racers in the form of two upgraded Lexus RC’s, a GT86 and even a new Nurbirgring entry for this year: the C-HR Racing.  No sight of this production version of the concept seen in 2015, nor the race version.  But it is firmly in the roster — ensuring its debut by April or so at the latest.

The headline act?

The very new TS050 Hybrid.

One massive generational leap ahead of the 2013-2015 TS040, this new model will keep the heat on Audi and Porsche’s podium-snatchers.  The ultimate goal, of course, is an outright Le Mans 24-hour win.

Just a handful of press conference photos so far of the TS050, but it looks dramatically different from all sides.  Much lower front planes overall meet giant, bluff front fenders — not unlike the latest Audi and Porsche 919, frankly. But with a lower overall front spoiler clip and hoodline.  Interesting aero, certainly.  Out back, a taller center spine and slightly shorter length than before is notable from the images so far.  Also, a new carved-out reverse airvent cuts deep into the side sills. Intriguing. Watch this space for all the TS050 Hybrid details in the next weeks.

Will Big T make its race-winning dreams come true this year?  The stars certainly seem aligned for a big Gazoo offensive…  on many fronts!


2016 Toyota GAZOO Racecars & Series Preview

Toyota GAZOO Racing Outlines 2016 Motorsports Activities


Toyota City, Japan, February 4, 2016―Toyota GAZOO Racing, the in-house brand responsible for motorsports activities administered by Toyota Motor Corporation, today announced its schedule for 2016.

Motorsports events offer a crucial means of conveying the excitement of driving, and are at the heart of Toyota’s efforts to foster a greater following of car fans and enthusiasts. By conducting these activities under the umbrella of Toyota GAZOO Racing, Toyota can focus on developing its people and improving its products, thereby contributing to the creation of ever-better cars.

In 2017, Toyota will return to the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). Preparations are ongoing, with a rally vehicle based on the Yaris compact hatchback currently being developed to meet FIA 2017 regulations.

Under the Toyota GAZOO Racing team name, Toyota will also participate in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), the Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race, and the Japanese Rally Championship. In WEC, 2016 will see the debut of the new Toyota TS050 Hybrid race vehicle, with which the team will aim to recapture the series championship and achieve its first win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans this June. The TS050 Hybrid utilizes a new hybrid system developed at Toyota’s Higashi-Fuji Technical Center. In the 2016 Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race, Toyota will celebrate its tenth year of participation by entering three cars: the Toyota C-HR Racing, and the Lexus RC F and RC.

In the U.S., Toyota will continue to compete in NASCAR events. In South America, Toyota will support Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd., who will participate in the Dakar Rally in early 2017.

Meanwhile, in Japan, Toyota will participate in the Super GT and Super Formula series, both of which are in the top tier of motorsports events within Japan, and will also compete in the Super Taikyu series with the 86 coupe.

As part of its initiatives to cultivate young drivers who hope to compete in high-level international racing events, Toyota will continue to run the Toyota GAZOO Racing Rally Challenge Program for rallies, and the Toyota Young Drivers Program (TDP) for races.

Toyota will also actively try to raise awareness of automotive culture, creating a new generation of car enthusiasts in the process. Key to these efforts will be a wide range of participative, informal motorsports events targeting participation by ordinary customers, such as the Toyota GAZOO Racing 86/BRZ Race, Toyota GAZOO Racing Netz Cup Vitz Race, and Toyota GAZOO Racing Rally Challenge. Additionally, Toyota will collaborate with dealers nationwide to hold a variety of interactive events at circuits and similar venues.

Furthermore, by utilizing digital platforms and social networking sites, Toyota will continue to share information about upcoming races, rallies, and events. Additionally, Toyota will share information on its lineups of tuned and performance models, such as the GRMN and G’s series, which have been adapted based on racing and rally experiences.

A new logo for Toyota GAZOO Racing activities was also announced today, along with a unified color scheme that will be implemented for all vehicles that race in WRC, WEC, the Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race, and the Japanese Rally Championship.

New Toyota GAZOO Racing logo

Going forward, Toyota will continue to work together with its affiliates to create fun and exhilarating experiences that publicly raise the profile of motorsports.

Outline of Toyota’s 2016 Motorsports Activities

  1. FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)
  • Early last year, Toyota announced its decision to return to WRC, seeing the series as an important platform to help promote its ever-better-cars initiatives.
  • Under the leadership of Team Principal Tommi Mäkinen, Toyota is developing a rally vehicle in Finland for participation from 2017 onwards, with Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) developing the engine.
  • The vehicle is based on the Yaris hatchback, and is work is currently underway to ensure compliance with 2017 FIA regulations. Testing of the actual vehicle is scheduled to start in March.
Team nameToyota GAZOO Racing
Team representativeAkio Toyoda
Team principalTommi Mäkinen (Finland)
VehicleYaris WRC (length: 3,910 mm; width: 1,820 mm)
EngineToyota engine (under development at TMG)
1.6-liter direct-injection turbo (in line with global race engine specifications)
  1. FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC)
  • The FIA World Endurance Championship has taken place every year since 2012. In 2016, Toyota will compete in all nine championship fixtures, including a new race in Mexico.
  • This year’s highlights will include the championship’s third and seventh races: the 24 Hours of Le Mans (June 18–19), and the 6 Hours of Fuji (October 16).
  • TMG and Toyota GAZOO Racing have applied to enter two of the newly-developed TS050 Hybrid vehicles into all nine races.
  • The THS-R powertrain, developed at Toyota’s Higashi-Fuji Technical Center in Japan, features not only a new engine, but also front and rear motors/generators with increased capacity to better power all wheels. Toyota plans to utilize these advanced hybrid technologies in its mass-production hybrid vehicles.
  • All vehicles will be equipped with Michelin tires.
  • Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, Stéphane Sarrazin, and Mike Conway will be joined by newcomer Kamui Kobayashi.
TeamVehicleCar no.Driver
Toyota GAZOO RacingTS050 HybridTBDAnthony Davidson (U.K.)
Sébastien Buemi (Switzerland)
Kazuki Nakajima (Japan)
TBDStéphane Sarrazin (France)
Mike Conway (U.K.)
Kamui Kobayashi (Japan)
  1. Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race
  • Toyota GAZOO Racing will enter three vehicles―a Toyota C-HR Racing, a Lexus RC, and a Lexus RC F―into the 44th 24 Hours of Nürburgring endurance race. The event will be held in Germany from May 26 to 29. This year, Toyota will be celebrating its tenth year of participation in the race under the GAZOO name.
  • The tough driving conditions faced by the drivers and crews will further enhance Toyota’s abilities to train personnel who can develop ever-better cars.
  • The C-HR Racing model is the result of efforts to apply new production methods to the creation of a crossover vehicle.
  • The RC incorporates improvements made to reliability and quality, as well as features based on new technologies.
  • Having participated in the development of the RC F, Tom’s will also supervise the race, further contributing to Toyota’s efforts to train employees and develop ever-better cars.
  • All vehicles will be equipped with Bridgestone tires.
TeamVehicleCar no.Driver
Toyota GAZOO RacingToyota C-HR RacingTBDMasahiko Kageyama (Japan)
Kumi Sato (Japan)
Hiroki Yoshida (Japan)
Lexus RCTBDTakayuki Kinoshita (Japan)
Takamitsu Matsui (Japan)
Naoya Gamo (Japan)
Toyota GAZOO Racing with Tom’sLexus RC FTBDTakeshi Tsuchiya (Japan)
Tatsuya Kataoka (Japan)
Kazuya Oshima (Japan)
Takuto Iguchi (Japan)
  • Toyota will once again compete in the NASCAR series through Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. and Toyota Racing Development, U.S.A.
  • Toyota will compete in both the Sprint Cup Series and the Xfinity Series with the Toyota Camry. The Toyota Tundra will compete in the Camping World Truck Series.
  • All vehicles will be fitted with Goodyear tires.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Racing Teams
TeamNo.Driver (all from U.S.)
Joe Gibbs Racing11Denny Hamlin
18Kyle Busch
19Carl Edwards
20Matt Kenseth
Furniture Row Racing78Martin Truex Jr.
  1. Dakar Rally
  • Toyota regularly supports Team Land Cruiser Toyota Auto Body, which competes in the Dakar Rally with Toyota Land Cruiser 200 vehicles.
  • At the 2016 Dakar Rally held in January this year, one of the team’s vehicles finished in first place in the Cross-Country Series Production Vehicles class for the third consecutive year, while the other finished the race in fifth place in the same class.
VehicleDriver / NavigatorPosition in Cross-Country Series Production Vehicles class1Position in Diesel Cross-Country Series Production Vehicles classOverall position
(Land Cruiser 200)
DriverNicolas Gibon (France)1132
Co-driverJean Pierre Garcin (France)
(Land Cruiser 200)
DriverAkira Miura2 (Japan)5548
Co-driverLaurent Lichtleuchter (France)

1Includes gasoline and diesel classes

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About The Author

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly expanding automotive news magazine.He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.