Toyota Launches GR Sub-Brand

Andrew Cummings
September 21, 2017

Toyota has pulled the covers off of its new GR sports vehicle series in Japan. The auto is also fitted with sport-tuned suspension and 17-inch BBS wheels wrapped in 205/45R17 Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tires. The GR models won't be limited production and also won't get any engine upgrades.

Road cars from the sub-brand will fall into one of three performance categories, the top one being GRMN which stands for Gazoo Racing Masters of Nürburgring. The Vitz GRMN hot hatch, the Japanese equivalent to the Yaris, is the current range topper, packing a supercharged 1.8-liter gas engine producing 209 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, as well as BBS forged aluminum wheels, a smaller steering wheel and a more aggressive body. The Toyota 86 GR will receive a unique aero kit, Sachs shock absorbers, Recaro sport seats, Rays alloy wheels, more powerful brakes, and a single exhaust tip.

Sitting below the GRMN range is the mid-range "GR" and the entry-level "GR Sport". It's convoluted range that covers everything from minivans to sports cars over three "levels" of intensity, so do make sure you're paying attention. Buyers will also be able to upgrade existing models with aftermarket "GR Parts" at specialized "GR Garage" dealerships. That said, Toyota will probably sell a ton of them as all automakers roll out sport trims that are light on actual mechanical upgrades.

A total of 39 Toyota GR racing shops are expected to be set up in Japan soon.

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. The new GR sub-brand actually replaces the Japan-only G's sub-brand launched earlier this decade.

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