Toyota Gazoo Racing Doubling Down on ICE Investment

Toyota’s motorsport and sports car division, Gazoo Racing, is doubling down on its investment in internal combustion engine (ICE) technology, reaffirming its commitment to maximising the potential of combustion engines. GR President Tomoya Takahashi emphasised the division’s stance, asserting that ICE vehicles can coexist with efforts to reduce carbon emissions. “The enemy is carbon, not internal combustion engines,” Takahashi remarked, encapsulating Toyota’s perspective on ICE vehicles.

Despite the growing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs), Toyota has no immediate plans to introduce a performance EV under the GR brand. This decision raises questions about the fate of the FT-Se concept car, which boasted impressive performance figures but remains without a clear production path.


While EVs may not be the focus for GR, hybrid technology emerges as a viable alternative. Takahashi highlighted the potential of hybrid systems in reducing carbon emissions, aligning with Toyota’s exploration of synthetic fuels and hydrogen-powered combustion engines to maintain ICE relevance in a low-carbon future.

Despite this strategy, GR continues to develop new models, including a performance SUV and an automatic variant of the GR Corolla. Additionally, Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus, plans to incorporate technology from GR, with the 1.6-litre turbo engine from the GR Corolla slated for use in Lexus’s forthcoming LBZ concept—a small crossover boasting impressive power figures.

Toyota’s steadfast commitment to ICE technology reflects its belief in its ongoing viability alongside efforts to address carbon emissions. This confidence is bolstered by advancements in hybrid systems and synthetic fuels, offering pathways toward cleaner combustion engines. Furthermore, Toyota’s measured approach to EVs underscores a strategic preference for gradual integration of new technologies rather than a rapid transition.

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