Toyota Gazoo Racing team principal Jari-Matti Latvala has admitted the team is unsure which it will build first – a Rally2 or a Rally3 car.
All three of the WRC’s major teams – Toyota, Hyundai Motorsport and M-Sport – are currently developing their hybrid Rally1 machines which will debut in 2022, but Toyota is also investigating introducing a customer-led program.
While both Hyundai and M-Sport have a Rally2 car – with an all-new i20 expected this summer – and M-Sport also has a Rally3 Fiesta, Toyota is yet to enter either market.
However, a source close to the team confirmed it was looking into the viability last October and now Latvala has revealed the aim is to have a car testing next year.
The only snag is, the team hasn’t decided which one to commit to first.
“We want to start the customer program, we want to have the car that we will be able to sell for the customers and we are investigating still the options with Rally3 and Rally2,” said Latvala.
“For sure both are interesting but we haven’t decided which one we’re going to do first.”
The Rally2 market is a lot more flooded, potentially making it more appealing to Toyota so that it can compete against its main rivals on another footing while also offering any of its junior drivers a car to hone their craft in.
Currently Volkswagen, Škoda and Citroën offer up-to-date Rally2 cars along with M-Sport and Hyundai.
M-Sport Poland is however the only team to have developed a Rally3 car as of yet, but other manufacturers are known to be interested.
When asked what year Toyota would like to enter either market, Latvala said: “Well I think a little bit [what I] said earlier we have started to build the customer program and our target now is we are investigating the Rally2 and Rally3 options.
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“We haven’t decided which we want to do first but like I said new customer program is being built, of course we want to have a car next year that is already testing.
“For sure that is what we want to say, we want to have a customer program car testing next year, this is clearly what we want to have.”
Pushed further if the cars would be available for 2023, Latvala replied: “I can’t say it will be for sale in that point but I would hope to see that car we have on the test used.”