It has been said before, but this time we hope we're joining Toyota in saying it again: the brand should build proper performance cars like it did over a decade ago. Apparently, at least one person at the Japanese automaker agrees. Auto Express recently spoke with Toyota Europe Executive Vice President Karl Schlicht, who said:

"We are currently discussing sport lines for Toyota models. There is an appetite for Toyota to do credible performance cars."

And there's evidence that the Japanese automaker is taking performance seriously. First there's the excellent Scion FR-S (known as the Toyota GT86 overseas), a joint-development with Subaru. And then there are other less-subtle projects and concepts like the Lexus LS Sports 650 shown above, a 650-horsepower super-sedan developed by Toyota Motorsport GmbH, and the more recent Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R, a 420-hp super capacitor-equipped hybrid hatchback, which also was developed by TMG. All of this leads us to ask two questions: is TMG gearing up to be Toyota's next official performance brand? Will it have a hand in the development of a successor to the revered but long-dead Supra?

We're not sure, but let's assume Toyota rules out another established sub-brand to produce performance cars, Toyota Racing Development. TRD has produced performance parts and accessories for awhile, and has even produced sport-oriented vehicles in some markets, but there's little evidence it will be part of a serious performance initiative at Toyota. There's something to be said about starting anew, and the less-known but more deeply involved TMG, Toyota's Germany-based motorsports partner, seems like it could be a better fit as a maker of "credible" Toyota performance cars.

We certainly hope that's the case, since the LS Sports 650 and Yaris Hybrid-R are two of the most exciting Toyotas we've seen in a while. We're holding our breath that this development turns out to be a global performance initiative, and not just a Europe-only forbidden fruit factory.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 52 Comments
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Time for a new Supra TMG.
      Ross
      • 1 Year Ago
      I thought F sub brand (as in IS-F, and the soon to be released GS-F) was supposed to be their "credible" performance line??
        LW
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ross
        There is no F racing division to soup up the Lexus cars. It is just a marketing ploy.
        Stirling Matheson
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ross
        That's Lexus-only, presumably TMG would be for Toyota-badged cars.
      11fiveoh
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think toyota needs this.
      jrmosery86
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why not use TRD?
      normc32
      • 1 Year Ago
      TRG stuff is recalled too? Can't these guys do anything right? http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2012/10/toyota-fj-cruiser-equipped-with-trd-brake-kit-recalled.html
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      miketim1
      • 1 Year Ago
      toyota/lexus is on a heck of a performance misson
      Deneway
      • 1 Year Ago
      None of them half as good as the Nissan Juke-R
      Scooter
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hey man, my Toyota Yaris R could totally smoke your sports car any day of the week.
      youarenotjer
      • 1 Year Ago
      tell my why that front badge makes this $80k+ LExus LS look like a beater Ford Taurus?? smh.
      SpikedLemon
      • 1 Year Ago
      Maybe they're tired of people pronouncing TRD as "turd".
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SpikedLemon
        Meh, the only people who call it that are the Toyota haters who wouldn't buy a Toyota regardless.
      Bobby
      • 1 Year Ago
      Id just stick with F. TMG sounds like AMG, TRD was never a great sound, but F is doable. For those thinking that TMG wouldn't tune Lexus cars, look they just did the LS...so yeah TMG and F would be overkill
        normc32
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bobby
        The "f" sounds is too feminine. That's why cops don't say, "freeze"!
          Bobby
          • 1 Year Ago
          @normc32
          V sounds masculine? Or M? Sorry, letters don't have masculine/feminine connotations.
          normc32
          • 1 Year Ago
          @normc32
          Cadillac is called V-Series. S-line, M-Sport or V-Sport is more inline with low performaning Lexus line up where everyone is turbo or super charged.
          Steve
          • 1 Year Ago
          @normc32
          @ normc32 S-line doesn't compete with BMW M3 or upcoming Cadillac ATS-V, Lexus ISF. Audi's RS line isn't quite turbocharged yet. C7 RS6 yes but not the B8 RS4, RS5, any of R8.
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