To see recall-plagued Toyota staging a public track day at Fuji Speedway, running several of their recently revealed Nurburgring-inspired road going concepts, like a supercharged iQ, is a positive step in the right direction.
Weighed down by negative news of unexpectedly accelerating cars and dubious brakes, not to mention their untimely withdrawal from F1, the world’s number one car company has taken a beating of late. But this fresh new batch of creative concepts is showing that CEO Akio Toyoda’s message of more-fun-to-drive Toyota machines is ringing true.
Now that I think back, there seems to be a clear correlation between the company’s F1 withdrawal and launching a bunch of fun new cars, while at the same time, focusing more on their Nurburgring racing programme.
It was at a function for the Japan Car of the Year jurors last September that hints started flying about a possible F1 withdrawal. Walking into a large hotel room in central Tokyo, we noticed that the walls were filled with photographs and posters of Toyota’s racing program. But there was not one mention of F1 anywhere. Every poster on the wall was shot at either the Nurburgring or Fuji Speedway and dedicated to the company’s in-house racing team, Gazoo Racing. And not surprisingly, there was a special reference to the LFA and IS-F, not least because CEO, Akio Toyoda, had strapped himself behind the wheels of both cars and competed in the last two 24-hour Nurburgring classics.