Toyota can't seem to get enough GR Sport models. From the Hilux, Fortuner, Corolla Altis, Corolla Cross, and the Vios, the automaker has plenty of GR-S vehicles available in the country. There's even a GR Sport version of the Land Cruiser available overseas although private dealers in the country can get you one albeit for a more premium price.
Today, the automaker has added another GR Sport model that we can only wish we could have. Say hello to the 2023 Toyota RAV4 GR Sport, and boy does it look lean and mean. Featuring a styling package inspired by the race-bred Gazoo Racing vehicles, this particular RAV4 not only gets an exterior and interior upgrade but also gets a modified suspension for better handling.
Starting with the most obvious, the dressed-up crossover gets a piano black finish on the wheel arch trims, side moldings, and tailgate garnish. It also gets more prominent foglight bezels that come with the same G-mesh pattern as the blacked-out grille, and new front spoilers. There's also a discrete GR badge on the front grille and tailgate to remind everyone this is no ordinary RAV4.
The exterior makeover wouldn't be complete if the RAV4 didn't come with a nice set of wheels. For the GR Sport version, Toyota installed 19-inch alloys that feature a new, ultra-precise line-cutting technique. The wheels are then painted gloss black with a fine bright machined pinstripe detailing that highlight the five-spoke design.
Open the doors and the RAV4 GR Sport now comes with a pair of sport seats that are finished in a tactile, suede-effect upholstery complete with synthetic leather bolsters. The headrests, meanwhile, are embossed black-on-black with the GR logo for a sportier appearance. Providing some contrast against the predominantly black cabin are neat touches of silver stitching on the seats, steering wheel, and shift lever. Last but not least are the GR Sport logos present on the steering wheel and floor mats.
When it comes to amenities, the RAV4 GR Sport is equipped with 10.5-inch touchscreen infotainment and is accompanied by a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. More importantly, the Toyota T-Mate safety and driver assistance features are available and include additional functionality of the latest generation Toyota Safety Sense. The package includes a new emergency steering assist and an enhanced pre-collision system. All GR Sport models are also fitted with a panoramic view monitor, and power-adjustable seats complete with a memory function for the driver's seat.
As mentioned earlier, the RAV4 GR Sport benefits from an improved suspension. Exclusive only to this particular model, the crossover gets stiffer springs and specially-tuned dampers that Toyota expects will give the RAV4 GR Sport a handling boost and a more engaging driving experience.
In Europe, the RAV4 GR Sport is available in both hybrid (HEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV). The 2.5-liter hybrid version makes a combined 222 PS while the more powerful PHEV doles out more at 306 PS. Both hybrid models are mated to an E-CVT and benefit from all-wheel-drive for the European market.
The 2023 Toyota RAV4 GR Sport will be available in Europe in Q4 of 2022. Hopefully, other global markets (including the Philippines) can get the GR Sport upgrade should Toyota Motor Philippines actually bring it.