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Higher Performance Toyota Models Could Be Coming

TRD / 1 Comment

But what performance badge will they have?

The 2020 GR Supra has created an interesting problem for Toyota. It all begins with the 'GR' portion of the Supra's name, which stands for Gazoo Racing. American consumers may not be very familiar with Gazoo Racing but much like TRD, the Toyota sub-brand is well-known in Europe for building extreme race cars and sportier versions of Toyota vehicles like the 86. Toyota has said it wants to build sportier vehicles, as evidenced by cars like the new Supra as well as the Avalon and Camry TRD models, but CarBuzz was previously told GR cars like the Yaris GRMN would not come to the US.

Well, that promise is kind of out the window with the new Supra, which wears a GR badge prominently on its rear bumper. Whether or not the Supra remains a one-off is still a mystery but speaking to Carsguide, Toyota's European marketing boss Matthew Harrison said there are more GR Sport models on the way.

"Each of our core models" will get a GR Sport model, including the hybrid models, Harrison said. "We are trying to build more of an obvious link to the GR brand, which is why we are establishing for each of our core models a GR Sport derivative. Some of the hybrid models will have a GR grade," Harrison told Automotive News Europe in an interview.

Toyota will take a three-tiered approach for performance GR models. GR Sport cars will look sportier but offer no performance increases; full GR cars, like the Supra, will show "a noticeable performance increase;" and the GRMN badge will be used on the company's most aggressive models.

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Toyota has been rumored to be working on a performance hybrid version of the Corolla hatchback, which could possibly go by the name Corolla GRMN. Since this interview took place with Toyota's European marketing boss, we wouldn't be surprised if the US is excluded from receiving these new GRMN cars. But it doesn't mean we won't get our own performance-oriented Toyota models.

Toyota could take advantage of the TRD name in the US market to release similar cars with a performance edge. CarBuzz reached out to Toyota for comment and Nancy Hubbel, Senior Manager of Product Communications said, "Europe's strategy is going to vary from what we have here. We don't have anything to announce at this time." Perhaps if the Camry and Avalon TRD are successful, we could see more TRD variants in the near future. Sadly, nothing is confirmed.