Recently, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has been busy reshuffling their motorsports division, Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR). Their previous statement announced management changes in both TMC and TGR, with key positions being renamed and executives getting a promotion. It seems as though we now know why as Toyota has just launched the new GR performance brand.
To kick off the brand's launch, Toyota has revealed a line up of seven different GR models, each having their own various levels of upgrades both mechanically and aesthetically. The GR brand will also have three levels of modifications – GR Sport, GR and GRMN.
Starting with the base variant GR Sports, it is essentially a rebranding of the G Sports (G's) series. Similar to the outgoing G's, the GR Sports upgrades are mostly reserved to aesthetics both inside and outside the vehicle. Furthermore, GR Sports models will receive a retuned suspension to improve handling.
Positioned between the two is GR, which focuses more on handling, suspension tuning, and minor powertrain tweaks. For those who want the full experience of Toyota's motorsport knowhow, there's Gazoo Racing Masters of Nurburgring (GRMN) which sees upgraded engines combined with all upgrades from the lower variants. Meanwhile, GR Parts offers exisiting Toyota owners in-house aftermarket upgrades for their vehicles.
Not all GR models will be available at launch, only GR Sports variants of the Yaris, Prius PHV, Mark X, Harrier, Noah and Voxy can be had, along with the Yaris GR. Toyota be will launching the rest of the GR model lineup towards the end of the year. The other models include the Prius c GR Sports, Aqua GR Sports, 86 GR and the Vitz (Yaris) GRMN.
For the 86 GR, it receives 17-inch Rays forged wheels, Sachs dampers, Recaro seats, 6 and 4 piston brakes and a Torsen limited slip diffential. It does however retain the stock output of 205 PS. As for the range topper GRMN, Toyota will be launching the Vitz (Yaris) GRMN in the spring of 2018. It remains identical to its European counterpart, the Yaris GRMN, apart from the more aggressive bumper also used on the Vitz GR and GR Sport models.
Unlike previous Gazoo Racing models, GR will not be exclusive to Japan. TMC plans to deploy the GR series outside of Japan at a future date though have not yet announced which countries GR will be made available.