Toyota to add sporty models across its range, wearing GR Sport, GR and GRMN badging
Toyota has been on a mission to dump its “sensible and reliable” image for a while now, by introducing a number models you’d actually want to buy: the 86, the C-HR, the very excellent new Camry and the new Supra.
CarsGuide reports that Toyota Australia executives have hinted that Japan should be used as a guide to the sporty models that may be coming here.
Basically, there will be three levels of performance and sportiness: GR Sport badged cars are restricted to cosmetic updates, GR badged cars will offer moderately more performance than the standard equivalent models and the hardest and most aggressive models will wear the GRMN nameplate.
Toyota spokesperson Orlando Rodriguez told CarsGuide “The plan for us is that any product that comes into Australia with Gazoo-racing branding will primarily be focused on performance. It needs to be the full package. It needs to show a noticeable performance increase on our standard line-up,” he says.
“And at this stage our plan is to bring in GR-branded cars. That’s the main focus at this stage, but we wouldn’t rule out GRMN products that align with our market, and we wouldn’t rule out GR Sport products, either.
“We will definitely put our hands up for anything that becomes available. And we will fight very hard for it.”
Overseas there’s already a hot Yaris GRMN, and Toyota has confirmed that it’s working on a GRMN Corolla, which is rumoured to be powered by a 1.6 litre turbocharged engine. When the hot Corolla does eventually go on sale, expect it to compete against the Golf GTI or possibly the Golf R, Megane RS and the Hyundai i30 N.
A GR version of the Hilux will be available in some markets, however won’t make it Down Under as upgrades will be restricted to styling.
Given the popularity of lifestyle ute locally, it would be in Toyota Australia’s best interest to bring a performance and cosmetically enhanced ute to market.
More to come.