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Toyota wants more GR models

2023-05-19

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The performance division of the Japanese automaker has been experiencing tremendous success in recent years, and its new CEO, Koji Sato, intends to capitalize on this wave of popularity by expanding the range even further.

 

Apart from the Yaris GR, which is not available in Canada, the Corolla, 86, and Supra are currently the only three cars benefiting from the Gazoo Racing treatment. For Akio Toyoda, the former head of the brand who is now the chairman of the board, that was enough. However, Koji Sato sees things differently. He recently mentioned that "the Gazoo brand will be more considered in the future, and things could accelerate for the performance division" in an interview with Autocar magazine.

 

The most ironic part of all this is that the task of expanding the Gazoo Racing division would be entrusted to Akio Toyoda himself. Believe it or not, despite being 67 years old, the chairman of the board still participates in high-level racing events behind the wheel of race cars. He wants to drive at full speed for as long as he can.

 

The rumor mill

 

For now, nothing is known about the future projects of the Japanese automaker's sports division. However, several rumors about Gazoo Racing are circulating online at the moment, including the development of a new ultra-lightweight sports car. There is talk of a small convertible with a rear mid-engine. Could we be witnessing the revival of the legendary Toyota MR2? Let's just say it's not the first time such rumors have been swirling, but the support of the GR division could certainly weigh heavily and allow Toyota to revive this classic sports car.

 

As Gazoo Racing seems to focus on cars and TRD on utilities, it is not impossible for the Camry and, who knows, maybe even the Crown to also benefit from the GR treatment in the future. Perhaps I am exaggerating here, but the Prius could certainly be included in all of this.

 

Other rumors also suggest a GR conversion for an electric model. Thus, it would not be wrong to believe that the Toyota bZ4X is the next vehicle on the list for the Japanese automaker's performance division.

 

Ideas abound, and anything is possible now that the Gazoo Racing division has the support of Toyota's CEO. I would not be surprised if the GR division eventually occupies the same position for Toyota as AMG and M do for Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

 

Jean-Sébastien Poudrier

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