Back in August, rumours surfaced that Toyota was planning to launch a new sports car series. And, as it turns out, the rumours were entirely true.
Yes, Toyota has announced its new “GR” sports car series in Japan, revealing that it plans to “deploy the GR series outside of Japan as well gradually”. We’ve approached Toyota South Africa Motors for comment on local plans and will update this story once we hear back.
The Japanese automaker says its aim with the new line-up is to “foster a culture of enjoying cars”, adding that it plans to “further enhance” the range in the future and offer a variety of parts as well.
In Japan, Toyota’s range of performance vehicles will comprise the range-topping GRMN (such as the Yaris GRMN), this new mid-range GR series and the entry-level GR Sport models.
Toyota explains at the GRMN models will be “limited” releases each featuring a tuned engine, while the mass-produced GR variants will “possess the essence of GRMN”. The GR Sport trim, meanwhile, will offer what the brand calls a “casual sports car driving experience”.
Rolling out in Japan, GR and GR Sport versions of the Yaris will be available, with GR Sport variants of the Prius PHV, Harrier, Mark X, Voxy, Noah and a handful of other models also on offer. The 86 will likewise come in for the GR treatment, albeit at a later stage.
Features will vary according to model, but typical GR derivatives seem likely to gain items such as special suspension tuning, additional bracing and small-diameter steering wheels. The 86 GR, meanwhile, will feature a full aero kit, Sachs shock absorbers, Recaro seats, uprated brakes and a Torsen limited slip differential.
[UPDATE: Toyota South Africa Motors had the following to say: “At this stage there are no immediate plans for local introduction of these derivatives, but this is something that can change in the not-so-distant future”.]