Toyota returns to rallying with the hardcore GT86 CS-R3

Toyota’s tail-happy GT86 is headed to the rally course.

The Japanese automaker has just confirmed a CS-R3 rally version of its beloved GT86 coupe, which will house an upgraded engine and a completely revamped suspension.

The CS-R3 signifies Toyota’s return to the rally circuit, an area the manufacturer hasn’t competed in since 1999. Toyota Motorsport GmbH was responsible for creating rally cars for the brand in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, but in 1999, the company stopped participating to focus on Formula One.

The gurus at Toyota Motorsport have been itching to get back into rallying since ’99, but they just needed the right car. Well, it looks like they’ve found it.

The track-only CS-R3 was developed to qualify for the FIA’s R3 rallying class, and it features a retooled version of the 2.0-liter boxer engine from the standard car. It pumps out between 240 and 250 horsepower now, and it does so without the aid of a turbocharger: modified engine software, a higher compression ratio, and camshaft adjustments were enough to do the trick. An HJS racing exhaust and manifold help the suped-up four-cylinder breathe easier too.

The standard six-speed has been swapped out for a sequential unit, and a MacPherson double wishbone suspension setup holds everything together over the rally course’s tough terrain. At 2,381 pounds, the CS-R3 is also almost 500 pounds lighter than the road-going version.

The GT86 rally car will debut this August at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland, where it will act as the official safety-testing ‘pathfinder’ vehicle.

Additionally, if you’ve ever come across a small motoring program known as Top Gear, you’ll know the enthusiastic Toyota has a flair for drifting. According to Guinness World Records, it took its hobby one step further recently, setting the record for the world’s longest drift at 89.55 sideways miles. It took driver Harald Muller over two hours to accomplish the feat, and you can almost hear the tires begging for mercy.

Oh wait, you actually can. Check out the video of the record-breaking drift below.