Toyota has revealed some of the plans for its 2017 return to the FIA World Rally Championship at the Paris Motor Show overnight.
Toyota showed off what it calls a ‘‘test car’’ as a teaser for its Yaris-based WRC contender but there was no news on driver selection for the 2017 campaign.
But in a significant collaboration Toyota has reached an agreement with Microsoft to serve as a technology partner for the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC Team.
Toyota said it will utilise Microsoft technology and its participation in WRC to achieve the company’s vision of designing and manufacturing what it calls ‘‘ever-better cars’’.
Microsoft will support Toyota Gazoo Racing in the development of a data analysis platform for the rally programme and the creation of a team information-sharing system to allow team members to collaborate and share various materials such as images and videos efficiently and effectively using a cloud service.
Toyota will also enhance communication with motorsport fans via the cloud by using Microsoft’s display devices.
The announcement builds on an existing partnership between Toyota and Microsoft, which includes the establishment of Toyota Connected, a new user experience and product-development company aimed at collecting and analysing large amounts of vehicle data to help further improve quality, safety and the driving and ownership experience for Toyota customers.
Three other partnerships were confirmed in Paris today. Michelin will be the team’s tyre supplier while DMG MORI and Panasonic Corporation were also confirmed as partners.
Four-time WRC champion Tommi Makinen (Finland) is the Team Principal for the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC effort.
There remains speculation that the rally vehicle scheduled to begin competing in 2017 could be significantly different to the car seen camouflaged in testing and revealed at the Paris Show.