Here's why that's a good thing.
Not long ago Toyota announced its new GR sports car range. GR, as many know, stands for Gazoo Racing, Toyota’s racing sub-brand. The Detroit Bureau is now reporting that it’s been confirmed Toyota’s upcoming reborn Supra will not wear a Toyota badge. Set to arrive in the second half of 2019, the new Supra will, as you can probably guess by now, be called the GR Supra. “The Supra will be by Gazoo,” said GR chief Shigeki Tomoyama. At the moment, Toyota’s GR cars are only on sale in Japan, including a Prius and 86.
Since those two models existed prior to GR’s brand status, it wouldn’t make sense to re-brand them. It’s a different story for the new Supra. We also noted the Supra’s absence in Toyota’s publicity photo for the GR sports car range. Launching both the new Supra and the GR brand is a big deal, so Toyota is obviously handling things more carefully. The Gazoo (or GR?) Supra shares an all-new platform with the also upcoming redesigned BMW Z4. However, the Z4 will only be offered as a roadster while the Supra will be a coupe. The Z4 will arrive first but we’ll have to wait nearly another year for the Supra. How come? Tomoyama-san wouldn’t say.
In any case, we think ditching the Toyota name and badge is a wise move, mainly because the brand has become even more synonymous with family friendly cars and crossovers since the last Supra left the market in 2002. Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda is fully aware some emotion needs to be injected into his family’s company, and Gazoo Racing, combined with a reborn Supra, is the right way to go about this.