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TMG Unlikely To Build Hotter Toyota And Lexus Road Cars

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Toyota’s motorsport partner TMG is unlikely to develop high-performance road cars based on Toyota and Lexus vehicles. The motorsport skunk works, which is based in Cologne, Germany, currently builds Toyota’s Le Mans prototypes as well as customer race cars based on the Yaris and GT 86 (Scion FR-S) models, but recently it built a high-performance Lexus LS prototype that was developed to showcase its capabilities in the area of road cars.

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Together with previous comments from TMG boss Yoshiaki Kinoshita, the unveiling of the prototype, called the TMG Sports 650, led to speculation that TMG would morph into an official tuner for Toyota and Lexus and start building high-performance road cars for the Japanese automaker as well as race cars. However, speaking with Motoring, TMG business operations director Rob Leupen downplayed the possibility.

"I don't think you will find in the next four or five years a TMG car in any dealership," Leupen said. "It will never be our intention to be a road car production company."

Leupen went on to explain that TMG will continue to work behind the scenes, helping to develop new technologies for Toyota, and not necessarily in the area of performance only. For example, TMG is expected to develop new engine, gearbox and hybrid technologies for Toyota. We’ve already seen this with the reveal of the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R concept, which featured a powertrain developed by TMG.  

"We are doing a lot of prototyping, we are working on diesel engines, we are working on naturally-aspirated engines, we are working on single cylinders, we are working on simulation tools all for TMC [Toyota Motor Corporation],” Leupen said. “That is starting to increase more and more."

While it’s sad to hear that we won’t see a high-performance Toyota or Lexus developed by the same company that builds the TS040 Hybrid, which is currently leading the 2014 World Endurance Championship, we’re still expecting a bright future for performance vehicles at Toyota. Going forward, expect the Japanese automaker to focus more on its established performance brands such as TRD for Toyota and F for Lexus.

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