Has someone finally convinced Toyota to go V8 Supercar Racing?
CarsGuide spotted Holden Racing Team owner Ryan Walkinshaw at Toyota's Taren Point headquarters in Sydney last week.
With motorsport nut Akio Toyoda now running the Japanese giant, anything is possible. Toyota will return to the World Rally Championship next year and is developing a GT3 car for luxury offshoot Lexus.
Add to that the fact that former Lexus Australia boss and V8 Supercar admirer Sean Hanley has returned to the Toyota fold and you have the first whispers of a rumour.
Unfortunately a more plausible — and less exciting — explanation is that Walkinshaw, who also owns Holden Special Vehicles, is touting for more mundane business with the global giant's Australian outpost.
HSV and Toyota were unwilling to divulge the details of Walkinshaw's meeting
With HSV's supply of Commodore donor cars drying up after the factory closes next year, Walkinshaw is already branching out into other businesses, setting up American Special Vehicles to convert Dodge Rams into right-hand-drive for the local market.
Toyota also has a full-size American pick-up in the form of the Tundra, although the company is believed to have already put a red line through any ideas of a local version.
That leaves some sort of aftermarket performance/bodykit work. Toyota has been down that road — less than successfully — before with TRD, an in-house tuning department that worked with Harrop Engineering to produce performance versions of the Aurion sedan and HiLux ute between 2007 and 2009.
Any new project would most likely focus on extra bling rather than extra zing, as getting any serious engineering changes signed off by Toyota head office in Tokyo is notoriously difficult. Add to that the fact that current Toyota Australia president Dave Buttner was the man who pulled the plug on TRD locally and chances of a deal being brokered seem remote.
HSV and Toyota were unwilling to divulge the details of Walkinshaw's meeting, which only adds to the intrigue.