A new Toyota rally car will be in action on the Rallye Südliche Weinstraße when the GT86 CS-R3 makes just its second competitive appearance in Germany.

The rear-wheel-drive car will be driven this weekend by well-known rally journalist Reiner Kuhn, who has plenty of experience behind the wheel thanks to test drives for his various publications, including Rallye Magazin and Motor Sport aktuell.

He will be joined in the Toyota by a familiar face to many World Rally fans; leading co-driver Ilka Minor. The Austrian has sat alongside drivers such as Henning Solberg, Evgeny Novikov and Manfred Stöhl on the world stage.

Kuhn and Minor will experience the GT86 CS-R3, following in the footsteps of Hermann Gaßner Junior, who gave the car its competitive debut on the Drei Städte Rallye late last year.

After an extended development, prolonged by the challenge of being the first rear-wheel-drive in the previously-exclusive front-wheel-drive R3 category, the CS-R3 earned its FIA homologation in late 2015.

The car is developed and built by Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) in Cologne.

By bringing rear-wheel-drive back to the stages, the CS-R3 is an exciting car for drivers and fans which draws on TMG’s rally heritage. The TMG-run TOYOTA Team Europe enjoyed its first successes in the 1980s with the rear-wheel drive Celica Twincam Turbo, a multiple Safari Rally winner.

Inspired by that heritage, TMG’s latest rear-wheel-drive rally car is intended for private customers, delivering a competitive R3 car which combines the racy good looks of the road-going GT86 with spectacular rally performance.

Significant effort has gone into the two-litre, normally-aspirated boxer engine which, like the car, is not a familiar configuration in R3. To add a further challenge, R3 regulations required the compression ratio to be decreased from the road car standard.

Using TMG’s state-of-the-art engine development tools, changes to the engine internals and software have resulted in a maximum power of 232hp, and peak torque of 235Nm.

To deliver a true motorsport feel, the CS-R3 has a six-speed sequential transmission from gearbox specialists Drenth designed specifically for rear-wheel-drive cars, and limited slip rear differential.

A weight optimisation programme has enhanced the already-nimble handling of the GT86 while upgraded suspension, brakes and exhaust ensure peak performance on the stage. There is no compromise on safety, with safety items and protective roll cage supplied as standard.