Whilst the Japanese marque has been associated with rallying for over 60 years, the forgotten Toyota mid-engined ‘Black Beast’ that resides in the sacred museum halls of the Cologne TMG never got the opportunity to carve its name in motorsport history.
Developed in February 1985 one year after the W10, Cologne-based Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) designed the racing version Toyota MR2 (222D) specifically for the WRC championship. Unfortunately for its disappointed fans, the FIA was to axe racers like the brutal 222D.
Group B is now remembered as the most ‘fast and furious’ era of rallying ever to grace the winding bends, gravel and tarmac. Brute force and performance thanks to a newly developed 2.1-liter turbo engine with dry-sump lubrication and all-wheel drive, gave the Toyota MR2 (222D) all the engineering it needed to be successful in Group S which was to replace the dangerous Group B.
Things were to take another twist and turn as fatal accidents occurred in the World Rally Championship resulting both group B and the future group S being outlawed on the grounds of health and safety.
Until that point, the powerful 222D had only stretched its short legs on testing in Europe and Japan and was only ever shown the light of day at a few select motor shows before it disappeared into the sacred museum halls of the Cologne TMG.
As is generally the case with motorsport, the technical details of the most outlandish MR2 were never revealed for a long period of time, making the Toyota 222D a mysterious cult model; a thoroughbred racer that fans and the media respectfully referred to as the ‘Black Beast’ or ‘Black Monster’.
As with many anecdotes, facts are often overlooked in favour of entertaining fiction. The Toyota MR2 WRC (222D) was actually built in black and white, with the Japan-White Coupe exhibited in the Toyota Mega Web Showroom in Tokyo.
Toyota MR2 (222D) Black Beast
Engine: Four-cylinder 16V in-line turbo engine
Boost pressure: adjustable from 1.3 to 1.5 bar
Displacement: 2,090 cm³
Power: 441 kW / 600 PS
Max. Torque: 640 Nm
Transmission: Manual 5-speed transmission
Empty weight: from 750 kg
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