Toyota Official Suggests ICE-Powered GR Models Are Here To Stay

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For now, at least.

A Toyota official has suggested that ICE-powered GR sports cars will stick around for quite some time, reports Autocar.

"Electrification, in general terms, can come, and we have to go as far as we have to go when we wouldn't be allowed anymore to stay with ICE," said Andrea Carlucci, Director Of Marketing And Product Development at Toyota Motor Europe

Carlucci addressed journalists at the Kenshiki forum in Belgium, adding that the company won't abandon ICE technology. "What I want to say is that we have a full commitment to continue developing, and of course, the solution cannot just be BEV," he added.

"To be frank with you, at the moment - looking at the response we got with ICE - of course, I'm talking about GR Yaris but also the GR86, which are an immediate success - we're very satisfied. And there is no reason to change that direction."

Front-End View Toyota

While American consumers missed out on the delightful GR Yaris, performance enthusiasts can still choose between the GR Supra, GR86, and the recently introduced Corolla GR hot hatch. Based on comments from the GR86's chief engineer, Yasunori Suezawa, we won't be getting any new GR models soon, leading us to believe that the automaker is cooking up some electrified performance vehicles.

There's plenty of evidence to suggest this.

When Toyota/Lexus announced they would introduce 16 new electric models for the future, several of the previewed concepts were decidedly sporty. One is expected to be an MR2 successor; a vehicle reportedly co-developed with Mazda. While the Toyota will utilize battery power, the Mazda is rumored to use a rotary setup.

Meanwhile, Lexus has already showcased the gorgeous Electrified Sport concept, a spiritual predecessor to the iconic LFA supercar.

2022-2023 Toyota GR Supra A91 -CF Aft View CarBuzz

Of course, there's a strong possibility that future performance Toyotas and GR models could retain their ICE engines with the help of hydrogen technology.

The Japanese automaker is a long-time advocate of the alternative fuel source and recently unveiled a Corolla Cross powered by hydrogen. This experimental vehicle wouldn't have been possible without Toyota's hydrogen-powered motorsport exploits, highlighting its usability in a high-performance setting.

In theory, this should allow Toyota to build enthusiast vehicles that are also eco-friendly. However, the brand said it cannot yet confirm whether this technology can be used in future road vehicles. But Carlucci remains hopeful, adding that "seriously starting the hydrogen application into our lineup is not so close."

It remains to be seen whether ICE engines will survive in the Toyota lineup. Still, with Toyota's attitude toward carbon neutrality, we don't expect them to die out soon - even if they return as hybridized vehicles in the coming years.

2022-2023 Toyota GR86 Driving Front Angle Toyota
Source Credits: Autocar

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