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image: Toyota

Ahead of the Tokyo Auto Salon later this month, Toyota released a teaser of its upcoming GT3 racing car based on an unprecedented sports car. This silhouette is too low and long to be Supra based and too muscular to be GR 86. In profile, this new racing car looks a lot more like a Mercedes-AMG GT than anything else currently in the Toyota range.

It would make sense for Toyota to get into GT3 racing waters, however, since pretty much every other automaker in the world is already there. Lexus has an RC F. with two cars GT3 Efforts in IMSA, as well a few run in Japan’s Super GT, but nothing specifically from Toyota. With this new racer, Toyota would be eligible for dozens of racing series around the world including prestigious races such as Daytona 24, Sebring 12, Nürburgring 24, Spa 24, Bathurst 12, and many Other.

The great thing about the GT3 regulations is that cars that drive to this specification have to be street legal sports cars. Toyota won’t have to build hundreds of thousands of these cars to get homologation for the class, but at least some will have to be made for the road. Even if Toyota wants to run a de facto factory, similar to Lexus (and competitors like Chevrolet and Acura for their efforts) it needs to build at least some for customers to buy and ride on the road.

There’s no telling what will power this racing machine just yet, but it has a very long hood that suggests a traditional front / rear-wheel drive setup. Personally, I’m hoping for something weird, like a spinning sucker V12. The roadworthy car could certainly be electrified for more environmentally friendly performance. Acura, for example, sells the NSX exclusively as a hybrid, but the GT3-homologated version runs exclusively on petrol.

Anyway, it’s nice to see Toyota getting back to focus on driving behavior. The company, which had one of the most enthusiastic lineups in the world in the late ’80s and early’ 90s, seemed to have given up on its performance in recent years, but it’s coming back. Hopefully this car means we’ll have three real sports cars under the Toyota nameplate, in addition to a pair of Hot Hatches available worldwide once the Corolla GR drops. Yes, we are returning to a new golden age of achievement!

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