A Brief History of the Toyota Racing Department

By: Quesnel Toyota   |   23 Mar 2023

The Toyota brand holds a namesake that goes back generations. Way back. And one of the most prominent divisions that still influences the brand today is the Toyota Racing Development. Or TRD, as most of you racetrack enthusiasts might know it. While TRD might get you thinking about the current lineup of impressive performance-enhanced and off-roading sports vehicles, the Toyota Racing Development holds a legacy that can be traced all the way back to the 1950s. As Toyota’s in-house motorsport preparation and road car tuning department, the TRD is responsible both for improving street cars for more performance and supporting Toyota's racing interests around the world. In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into the history of TRD and how it came to be the driving force behind Toyota’s racing success in North America – not to mention some of the most sought-after vehicles on the market today!

First Trip ‘round the Track

Exactly 20 years after Toyota’s conception and eventual ascent as one of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers, Toyota stepped up to the challenge of competing in the Round Australia Rally in 1957. Doing so would secure them the honour of being the first Japanese car manufacturer to race in motorsport competitions. In preparation for this arduous event, Toyota Technocraft established a new motorsport branch called Toyota Sports Corner, or Tosco, to design a vehicle for the gruelling 17,000 km, 19-day endurance race that circumvented the entire continent of Australia. After finishing 47th out of 86, Tosco got to work on improvements that led to the development of the iconic 2000GT, which would later finish third overall on the newly completed Fuji Speedway track.


The Birth of TRD

As Tosco’s vehicles moved on to set the international class and world speed records and even appear in a James Bond film, the Toyota brand quickly began making a name for itself within the world of motorsports. Always an innovator in auto development, the brand took motorsport technology in a new direction in order to keep up with such an ever-changing world and updated emissions policies. They soon began to shift their focus onto the touring car field, producing official performance components for the road-car market. By 1976 Tosco changed its name to the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) and opened a second base of operations in North America.

From Racetrack to Road Warrior

Through it all, TRD has maintained an emphasis on sharing its racing division expertise with its road-car division. This elite engineering technology is at the heart of every car, SUV, and truck they build. Especially their current TRD Pro lineup, engineered for both fast movers and terrain tacklers. Today TRD produces various tuning products and accessories, including performance suspension components, superchargers, and wheels. TRD parts are available through any Toyota dealer and are also available as accessories, trims, and packages on brand-new Toyotas.


Ready to feel the supercharged energy of the TRD thrill? We want you to experience this legendary engineering history that’s built into every Toyota model. Browse our lineup of TRD models like Tacoma, Tundra, 4Runner, and Sequoia today and contact us at Quesnel Toyota to set up a test drive! You can also browse our parts and accessories department if you’ve been inspired to spruce up your current ride to the next level!



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