Toyota Gets Serious About Performance with TMG Line

June 22nd, 2012

Toyota TMG Motorsport

The words “Toyota” and “performance” aren’t often spoken in the same sentence these days.

Toyota, though, is getting serious about building performance cars, as the Lexus LFA, Lexus IS F and Scion FR-S are tearing up tracks and backroads across the world.

Now, it seems Toyota may want to take things even further by creating performance versions of existing models. The company is thinking big, too, like along the lines of Mercedes-Benz’s AMG line.

Toyota hopes to turn Toyota Motorsport GmbH, the crew behind the Toyota Le Mans effort and the automaker’s once-glorious Formula One team, into a factory-backed tuner. The new performance sub-brand, called TMG for short, currently handles Toyota’s motorsport forays, including a possible World Rally Championship entry in the near future.

2013 Scion FR-S

Come on, give us an FR-S TMG...

First things first: Let’s clear up the striking similarity between the names AMG and TMG. While it appears Toyota may have tried to rip off the German’s legendary name, the origins are completely different. AMG was developed from the last names of the company’s founders, while TMG, obviously, stands for Toyota Motorsport GmbH. (GmbH, if you’re not familiar, is the German equivalent of an LLC  company.)

TMG is in the process of preparing a turbocharged 1.6-liter Toyota Yaris for a WRC debut in 2014. Buyers will be able to purchase a street-legal version of the model soon after. According to Yoshiaki Kinoshita, president of TMG, the organization will also prepare high-performance versions of Lexus vehicles, potentially starting with a Lexus LS 460 TMG Edition. That car has been substantially reworked by his team, including the engine, suspension and bodywork. The end product, which could be confirmed for production in as little as 6 to 9 months, should come with a 650-hp twin-turbocharged V8.

While TMG will focus mainly on Lexus vehicles, there’s a distinct possibility that a Scion FR-S TMG could lurk just over the horizon.

Is a Toyota performance brand a good idea, or will TMG be nothing more than a Toyota Marketing Gimmick?

-tgriffith

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Used Lexus IS F
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  1. Randy
    June 24th, 2012 at 09:27 | #1

    While Toyota has concentrated on making the best cars, they’ve succeeded. Seems a shame to wast so much time engineering something as rediculous as a 650HP small car, which is about as useful as a five-foot codpiece. The best thing Toyota could do is get rid of their motorsports division entirely and redirect some of that engineering talent to doing something useful. A sub-$25K plug-in hybrid would be a lot more useful and beneficial to the planet than a poster child for inadequate males.

  2. Jim Redd
    June 22nd, 2012 at 11:57 | #2

    We know Toyota has the capability to engineer performance and it’s a shame they lost track of it. This is a good sign that they are serious about regaining that reputation. And I like the name way better than TRD. Who wants Toyota Turd on their car?

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