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Inside Toyota’s alternative path to the future of motorsport

A combination of passion and pragmatism is behind the Japanese car-making behemoth’s motivation to push ahead with hydrogen combustion technology

Noise. A blessing or a curse. A delight or an irritation. For many race and rally fans, it’s one part of the essence of what makes motorsport so appealing. You can count Toyota’s chairman and former CEO for the past 13 years among their number.

“She said noise, but to my ears, it is more like a lullaby!” laughs Akio Toyoda, great-grandson of the company’s founder and inspiration behind the multi-championship-winning Gazoo Racing, as he picks up the misplaced nuance of his translator’s words when asked about the prospects of battery electric motorsport in the vein of Formula E and Extreme E doing away with one of the sport’s more visceral appeals.

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