Published: Thu, September 21, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

Toyota Launches New GR Sports Car Brand (News)

Toyota Launches New GR Sports Car Brand (News)

Sitting below the GRMN range is the mid-range "GR" and the entry-level "GR Sport". The small hatchback also gets an upgraded suspension and 17-in BBS wheels.

"Beginning with the Yaris GRMN revealed in Europe in March 2017, TMC plans to deploy the GR series outside of Japan as well gradually", Toyota said today. These will be limited-edition cars featuring the biggest upgrades, including tuned engines. GR models get an even more aggressive suspension tune with Sachs shocks, additional spot welding and bracing, a smaller steering wheel, and a manual shift mode in CVT models that mimics a 10-speed automatic. These vehicles tend to be more of a styling exercise than true performance cars. That said, Toyota will probably sell a ton of them as all automakers roll out sport trims that are light on actual mechanical upgrades.

For the next 100 years, Toyota will do things that demonstrate that "cars are fun", President Akio Toyoda told a GR brand launch event in Tokyo, apparently bearing in mind talk that the industry is in a once-in-100-year change. GR stands for Gazoo Racing, Toyota's racing arm in Japan. What also hasn't been mentioned is whether Toyota's modern-day Supra will serve as GR's flagship offering, as has been rumored.

Toyota is trying hard to reverse its reputation for being bland and boring with the reveal of a new sports auto range from its Gazoo Racing sub-brand to rival the likes of Mercedes AMG and BMW M performance divisions. The new GR sub-brand actually replaces the Japan-only G's sub-brand launched earlier this decade.

It's a shame because Toyota has quite an extensive motorsport history that isn't properly represented in its cars, with everything from Formula 1 to 24 Hours of Le Mans and top-level rallying on its CV.

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