Beyond that he was 18 years away from the World Rally, Toyota it has a rich track record in the skidding category. What better way than to review it through these ten iconic models.
The 1957 Australia Mobilgas Rally was Toyota's first competition entry outside of Japan, thanks to an initiative by the Japanese Ambassador to Australia. With a Toyopet Crown with some modifications, Toyota contested a very tough test that traveled the whole country in a clockwise direction, starting and finishing in Melbourne. After traveling 16.951 km, only 856 of which were paved, Kunio Kaminomura, Kojiro Kondo and the navigator Lindsay hedley they reached the finish line. The only problems suffered were an intake valve that said enough and a kangaroo that crossed his path. The Toyopet Crown, which weighed 1.700 kilos and was powered by a 1.5-liter engine, with 48 CV of power, he won the 1958 Japan Rally.
TOYOTA COROLLA LEVIN TE27
Framed in the Group 2, this model debuted at the 1973 RAC Rally with Ove Andersson y Geraint phillips who managed to win several stages. In 1974 came the 16 valve version on the 151E block that increased its power to 180 CV and it was already capable of competing face to face with more powerful rivals, thanks to its low weight (850 kilos) and the hands of Andersson, Björn Waldergård y Hannu mikkola. The latter achieved victory in the 1000 1975 Lagos Rally.
TOYOTA CELICA GT2000 RA23
It was difficult to compete with a Corolla of 1.6 liter engine against rivals who mounted two-liter engines. For this reason, Toyota decided to participate in the World Championship with the Celica, which was equipped with a 2.0-liter front engine, 16 valves and double carburettor. The first Celica GT2000 participated in the Group 2 category and, with few modifications, in Group 4. Against rivals much further removed from the production models, Andersson and Mikkola achieved podiums at the Rally Portugal, 1000 Lagos and RAC, in 1976 and 1977.
TOYOTA CELICA TCT
El Group B Toyota -also called Celica TA65- competed in the World Championship between 1983 and 1986. Unlike its rivals, who built real prototypes with all-wheel drive and mid-engine; Toyota made a car much closer to the stock Celica, with a front engine and rear wheel drive. The Celica TCT forged a legend, winning 6 rallies and taking 13 podiums in the 16 events in which it competed. Its strong point was its robustness and reliability, which made it unbeatable in the toughest rallies in the world. With Waldegard at the wheel, he won the 1983 and 1986 Ivory Coast Rally and the 1984 and 1986 Safari Rally; try this last one that his partner beat Juha Kankkunen in 1985.
TOYOTA MR2 222D
Toyota's project for the frustrated category of Group S It perfectly illustrates Toyota's approach to racing. Rather than design a prototype unrelated to production models, which the regulation allowed, Toyota chose to rely on its mid-engined production model, the MR2. In the end, the FIA scrapped the Group S class and this spectacular model, of which several prototypes were built, never made it into competition.
TOYOTA SUPRA MA70
It was a project to run in Group A in the African rallies, the Safari and the Ivory Coast. There were two versions, one with a 3.0-liter naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine and the other with a turbocharged variant of that powerplant, capable of delivering more than 400 hp. Among his best results is a third place finish in the 1987 Safari Rally, with Lars-Erik Torph y Benny melander at the controls.
TOYOTA CELICA ST 165 GT4
The decision to develop a Celica for the Group A World Cup was a success. In 1989, his first full season, Kankkunen claimed victory in Rally Australia. The next year, Carlos Sainz it was proclaimed of the world, winning in Greece, New Zealand, Finland and Great Britain. In 1991, the Spanish driver achieved five more victories, finishing runner-up in the world. Even in 1992, four years after their debut, the local Jonsson / Bäckman won the Rally Sweden with a unit of this model.
TOYOTA CELICA ST 185 4WD
One of the most successful cars in the history of the World Rally Championship. He raced for three seasons (1992 to 1994) and won 16 rallies and five of the six possible championships: three drivers -Sainz, Kankkunen and Didier Auriol- and two from builders. Extraordinarily versatile and resistant, he was able to win on all terrains and conditions, in rallies as diverse as Kenya, Catalonia, Monte Carlo, Finland or San Remo, among many others.
TOYOTA COROLLA WRC
Toyota returned to the World Rally Championship with the new WRC regulations at the end of the 1997 season, in which the Auriol / Giraudet pair achieved a promising third place in Australia. In the following season Sainz fought for the title until the last rally of the season. Finally, in 1999, the Corolla WRC gave Toyota its third Constructors' World Championship title.
TOYOTA YARIS WRC
Toyota returned in 2017 to the top flight of the FIA World Rally Championship with the spectacular Yaris WRC, which in its debut season has already achieved two overall victories: in Rally Sweden, with Jari-Matti Latvala at the wheel, and in Finland, with Esapekka Lappi. Equipped with a 1.6-liter direct injection gasoline engine, it can boast more than 380 CV under the hood and an impressive design, thanks to the freedom that regulations give when it comes to aerodynamics. It has all-wheel drive with two mechanical differentials and an active center differential with torque distribution options. The weight of the set is 1.190 kilos.