Akio Toyoda confirms massive boost for rallying in keynote address in Japan.
Toyota will return to the World Rally Championship for the first time since 1999 in 2017 with the Yaris WRC.
Toyota chief Akio Toyoda confirmed the news during a press conference to confirm its motorsport plans for the future.
“In the WRC, all rallies have their own character, it’s a perfect setting for us,” he said. “When I was visiting events last year, many fans asked me when Toyota would come back to WRC, and they talked about the history.
“I was filled with surprising gratitude for those people that remembered. So I felt strongly that we must return.
“We’ve decided to return for the first time since 1999. We are not announcing a return, but perhaps a start. We must begin again from scratch and carefully prepare our team and cars.”
Toyoda himself has already tested a Yaris WRC, and said the experience has confirmed his belief that a return to the series was the right decision.
“Over the 18 years it was like a girlfriend I have missed,” he said. “The car is very developed and I’m looking forward to 2017, the car will be much more competitive than we are right now.”
No further details about the programme were revealed.