The Japanese brand can trace its rally roots back to 1957 when it raced the Mobilgas Australia Rally. But it was in 1975 that Toyota really made its debut, when Hannu Mikkola won the 1000 Lakes Rally of Finland at the wheel of an official Corolla.
Toyota established its sporting base in Cologne, Germany, and continued to score more WRC victories, including three consecutive victories in the Safari Rally.
In 1990, Toyota achieved its first WRC drivers' championship with Carlos Sainz, and in 1993 it became the first Japanese brand to win the WRC brands title. At the end of its activities in 1999, Toyota had added three brand titles (in 1993, 1994 and 1999) and four drivers' titles (two for Sainz and one for Juha Kankkunen and Didier Auriol).
Toyota's return was confirmed in January 2015 by company president and passionate rally enthusiast Akio Toyoda. A team base was established in Finland and Toyoda put former world champion Tommi Mäkinen in charge of developing a Yaris to be ready for his return in 2017.
The team was the surprise of the season. A sensational second place for Latvala at Rally Monte Carlo could have been put down to chance, but at the next round in Sweden he claimed victory. Esapekka Lappi won the fastest event of all, the Neste Rally Finland.
The success continued when new signing, Ott Tänak, joined Latvala and Lappi and the trio clinched the constructors 'title in 2018. Twelve months later, Tänak secured his first drivers' crown.
The team had an entirely new lineup in 2020, with Sébastien Ogier, Elfyn Evans and rookie Kalle Rovanperä. In an exciting season finale, Ogier edged out Evans to claim his seventh drivers' title and Toyota has maintained the same lineup for 2021.