Lexus to Launch TMG Performance Sub-Brand?

Lexus TMG Sub-Brand

The Age in Australia is reporting that Toyota Motorsport GmbH, or TMG, could become an official performance sub-brand for both Toyota & Lexus:

Toyota will launch a new performance division from the ashes of its defunct formula one team. Toyota Motorsport GmBH (TMG) president Yoshiaki Kinoshita confirmed that his company has begun work on high-performance road cars which will carry the TMG badge.

“I cannot show you today but we have such kind of car, not an AMG; change the A to T,” Kinoshita said.

The very first confirmed project is the super-LS we saw last year:

Lexus LS TMG Edition

The LS is powered a 485kW [640bhp] twin-turbo V8 petrol engine coupled to a dual-clutch transmission. It also features re-styled bodywork – including a large rear wing – and the suspension has also been overhauled.

It has already been tested at the Nurburgring in Germany and Japan; it is likely to debut at the Essen motor show [in Germany] in September.

A 650 hp LS definitely makes a powerful impression, but after Lexus worked so hard to establish F SPORT, I would be surprised to see another performance sub-brand — this point is somewhat acknowledged in the article:

Although the final decision has yet to be made on going ahead with the TMG brand, Kinoshita is confident. [TMG technical director Pascal] Vasselon said a decision could come before the end of the year.

“It’s something to be finalised in the next six to nine months,” Vasselon said.

“Which badge has on the car is one of the decision that needs to be made in the next few months.”

The last quote is key — while introducing a new badge to the Lexus lineup might bring unnecessary confusion, using the TMG team to improve the F SPORT range makes a whole lot of sense. Interested to see where this goes.

Update: Edited for clarity.

[Source: The Age]