Details about the C-HR Racing are scant at the moment. "We decided to take on the new challenge of creating ever-better cars using a crossover rather than a pure sports car," the company's announcement said. It makes no mention of the vehicle's specs, but the included photo show the CUV with a more aggressive front fascia, vents along the hood, and a big wing at the rear. The driver lineup includes Masahiko Kageyama, Kumi Sato, and another person to be announced later.
Toyota will reportedly introduce the production version of the C-HR at the Geneva Motor Show, and the final one will allegedly carry over the current rakish shape and hybrid powertrain. The company also showed it with Scion badging at the 2015 LA Auto Show to suggest a likely arrival in the US.
This year will mark a decade of Gazoo Racing's competition in the 24 Hours of the 'Ring. The squad notably raced the LFA there for several years, but it showed a willingness to bring weirder vehicles too like a Lexus CT 200h in 2011. Nothing has been quite as odd as racing a crossover there, though.
Toyota City, Japan, January 15, 2016―Toyota GAZOO Racing announces the entry of three vehicles―a Toyota C-HR Racing*, a Lexus RC, and a Lexus RC F―in the 44th 24 Hours of Nürburgring endurance race to be held in Germany from May 26 to 29, 2016.
The 24 Hours of Nürburgring plays an important role in Toyota's motorsports activities for building ever-better human resources and vehicles under intense racing conditions. Beginning in 2007, the 2016 event marks the 10th year of Toyota's participation in the race under the banner of GAZOO racing.
When asked to look back over the last ten years, team representative Akio Toyoda said, "I remember GAZOO Racing first taking on the challenge of the Nürburgring in 2007 in an Altezza like it was yesterday. There are so many memories running through my mind–the interaction with the roads of the Nürburgring, whose characteristics seem to change with each shift in the weather, the meeting and parting with new and valuable friends. But, the one thing that remains the same is the unforgiving conditions of the circuit and the intensity of the racing. Every year, we use these conditions to hone both our team members and our cars. I have experienced this approach at first hand over the last nine years and, for me, this is the real meaning of motorsport."
"I also think that the commitment we show under these harsh conditions has a positive impression on our customers. That's why Toyota, under the banner of Toyota GAZOO Racing, will continue to take part in motorsports–to build ever-better cars, boost the number of vehicle enthusiasts, and bring a smile to the faces of our customers around the world."
Toyota GAZOO Racing was started up in April 2015 to unite the activities of GAZOO Racing, Toyota Racing, and Lexus Racing under the same roof. It continues to work toward the creation of ever-better cars through motorsports by developing stronger human resources and attracting a wide range of vehicle enthusiasts.
*A more production-ready race-specification version of the Toyota C-HR Concept shown at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in September, 2015.
Outline of Participation in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring
Team representative Akio Toyoda
Team name Toyota GAZOO Racing
Vehicle Toyota C-HR Racing
We decided to take on the new challenge of creating ever-better cars using a crossover rather than a pure sports car.
We want to accelerate the building of ever-better people and vehicles under the harsh and unique conditions of the Nürburgring, and apply these experiences to future vehicle development.
Akihiro Osaka (TMC)
Masahiko Kageyama, Kumi Sato, tbd*
Vehicle Lexus RC
Starting in 2015, this is the second consecutive opportunity for the Lexus RC.
In addition to improving on last year's results, we want to achieve even more success in building ever-better people and vehicles through the adoption of new technologies in this year's car.
Minoru Takagi (TMC)
Takayuki Kinoshita, Naoya Gamou, tbd*
Team name Toyota GAZOO Racing with TOM'S
Vehicle Lexus RC F
In addition to helping to develop dedicated cars for motorsports, TOM'S is also on the front line in race management.
We will learn from the passion and know-how of veteran TOM'S mechanics to boost the development of ever-better human resources in Toyota.
Takeshi Tsuchiya, Kazuya Oshima, Takuto Iguchi, Takamitsu Matsui
"tbd*"indicates a driver position that is yet to be filled.