Trevor Collett | Sep 13, 2013

Toyota is preparing to introduce a new performance oriented sub-brand, according to reports out of Europe this week.

Local enthusiasts will be familiar with the TRD (Toyota Racing Development) badge, appearing in Australia most recently on special versions of the Aurion and Hilux.

While the TRD brand remains strong in its home market, success here has proved hard to come by. That could change, however, with talk of a new venture starring the Germany-based Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG).

The TMG brand has produced a number of key concepts in recent months, including the Lexus LS TS 650 and the Yaris Hybrid-R extra-hot hatch, the latter right now on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Speaking with the UK’s Auto Express, executive vice-president at Toyota Europe, Karl Schlicht spoke of a demand for a Toyota TMG brand or similar in the market.

“We are currently discussing sport lines for Toyota models,” Mr Schlicht said. “There is an appetite for Toyota to do credible performance cars.”

While Mr Schlicht stressed that the Yaris Hybrid-R remains a concept for now, the car represents a taste of what a dedicated Toyota performance arm could achieve, particularly using hybrid technology.

In Australia at least, another performance Hilux could be a possibility, given the ongoing popularity of the big pickup.

It also seems talk around the world of a convertible 86 won’t go away until the carmaker finally (and perhaps, reluctantly) builds it, so a TMG performance sub-brand could be just what’s required to deliver it.

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