The plain white of Toyota’s new GT86 CS-R3 rally car is just begging for the red and green Castrol swirls of Carlos Sainz’s Celica GT-Four, isn’t it?
Not that the CS-R3 heralds a return by Toyota to top-level WRC competition. Instead, it’s aimed at private customers competing in various rallying classes.
Despite still being in the final phases of development, the prototype will make its debut at Rally Deutschland (21-24 August) – not in competition, but as ‘car zero’, which sweeps each stage of the 170-mile rally immediately prior to the field storming through.
It’s not just there to clear the way. Lessons learnt by double women’s world rally champion Isolde Holderied, who will be driving the prototype during this very public development phase, will be used to make final adjustments to the car before its homologated to FIA R3 standards.
The CS-R3 has been in development for a year and differs from a showroom GT86 with its 240 to 250bhp output (extra power has been found with software changes and physical adjustments to the cam lift and compression ratio), 6-speed sequential gearbox and LSD.
Forget the rally stage, that’s the kind of GT86 we’d like for daily use.