The 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, which fits perfectly with the FIA’s World Rally Championship technical regulations, has been testing at Toyota Motorsport GmbH in Cologne and is expected to be installed in a chassis - most likely a Yaris - at some point later this year.
A spokesman from TMG said: “We’re leaning towards an S2000-style of car which would be available for customers first. This is a development project, but it’s very early days - the engine only fired up for the first time a few weeks ago - at the very earliest, a car won’t be available until next year. Obviously, this being a Global Race Engine, it could go in any car, but the Yaris seems to make sense.”
Toyota is currently working on an FIA World Endurance Championship entry, but the spokesman admitted rallying was likely to feature in the firm’s medium-term future.
“Medium to longer-term there is a degree of logic in the WRC,” he said. “We have been there [the WRC] and this is a step back into rallying.”
Toyota already has a rally car coming out of TMG, in the shape of an R1 challenge Yaris.
Toyota was one of the powerhouses of rallying, winning seven FIA world titles in the sport and a move back to the WRC would mean joining Ford, Citroen, MINI and Volkswagen.