TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) announced the Toyota GT86 CS-R3 had successfully made its debut in the World Rally Championship (WRC) when the car “completed a productive four days” at Rally Germany. TMG said the recent rally marked a “major step forward in the car’s development.”
A prototype of TMG’s new rear-wheel drive rally car—a setup not seen in WRC for years—took part in the 1,300-kilometer race as a “zero,” or safety car. It was piloted by former WRC winner Isolde Holderied.
“I enjoyed the CS-R3 a lot—with rear-wheel drive it is a lot of fun,” Holderied said. It has good balance and felt really nice to drive on all different types of stage. The reaction from people to me being here with the CS-R3 has been incredible. There are so many people with big interest in Toyota’s rally history and they were really happy to see TMG back at a rally again.”
TMG said the priority throughout the rally was to log as many kilometers as possible to evaluate the special Toyota 86’s initial specifications—and to find necessary improvements. Toyota’s racing team cited the car’s reliability and Isolde’s driving helped it achieve its targets.
The experience gained in Rally Germany will aid in finalizing specifications of the CS-R3 kit, according to TMG. This will be delivered to customers in the first quarter of 2015 after the rally car passes homologation in FIA’s R3 category.
TMG will be selling the CS-R3 as a “cost-effective way” for privateers to “enjoy the thrills of competitive rallying, from local events up to WRC.”
“Overall, it has been a very positive experience for us and an important step in the development of the CS-R3,” said Nico Ehlert, principal engineer for customer motor sport at TMG. “We have found a few areas to improve both in terms of technical performance and service-park handling. We can look forward to seeing plenty of CS-R3 cars on stages around Europe next year.”
The CS-R3 conforms to FIA’s R3 regulation, which allows modifications to its two-liter boxer engine. Changes to the software and hardware, such as cam lift and compression ratio, are part of an extensive development program. The final car is targeted to deliver 240hp to 250hp.
Throughout the development process, TMG said it focused on reducing weight while improving safety, reliability and fun.
A sequential-shift six-speed transmission and limited-slip rear differential ensure high performance while an FIA-homologated safety cage has been installed. TMG said it also sourced tailor-made wiring looms and motor sport engine ECUs. The car will feature tarmac and gravel suspension kits, including specifically designed arms.
The CS-R3 kit, which will sell at around $110,000 in Europe, includes all essential mechanical elements such as rally-specific items, a complete drivetrain and all OE parts like a body shell with safety cage. TMG said it will release an options list soon.
It added a CS-R3 Trophy is scheduled at the 2015 Rally Germany.