It’s very rare these days for an automaker to develop a car completely from scratch. Often, designing and building a car involves sourcing parts from other firms, including even from rival automakers.
That’s because many firms do not have the capability to design, test and manufacturer every single component that goes into a modern car--or if they do, they don’t have the capability to do so within the typical timeframe required for a vehicle’s development.
That’s what makes the Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) division, based in Cologne, Germany, so unique.A manufacturer of F1 cars
Previously responsible for Toyota’s Formula 1 efforts, TMG is now focused on other areas of Toyota’s performance portfolio and soon could be developing go-fast models for both Toyota and Lexus.
With one of the largest concentrations of rapid manufacturing machines under one roof within Europe, including ten stereolithography machines and two laser sinter machines for the ‘printing’ of solid objects, TMG is a center of excellence for this cutting-edge technology.
Honed in the high pressure world of top level motorsport where as many as 2,000 unique parts a month can be produced from a variety of materials, these capabilities are being applied to Toyota’s racing and road car projects.Operations can run 24/7
If that wasn’t enough, TMG also has the capability to run 24/7, which if often does with its onsite wind tunnel.TMG's rapid manufacturing capability is based on a responsive and flexible approach. This was demonstrated to the full in April when, just weeks before the first race for the new TS030 hybrid Le Mans prototype
, one of the drivers had an accident in testing that damaged the only chassis.
With only two months to go before the 24 Hours of Le Mans, TMG set about manufacturing a new composite chassis built from scratch and requiring extensive testing. In the end, the team at TMG required less than seven weeks to finish.
This all bodes well for TMG’s future projects, which not only includes the development of customer race cars but also official tuning of Toyota and Lexus road cars
. Though yet to be formally announced, TMG is already testing some performance enhancements for Toyota and Lexus vehicles, ranging from the Toyota Yaris compact right through to the Lexus LS flagship sedan.