But it won't be sold under the GR name.
Just last week, Toyota revealed the GR line-up, a new sports car range that spices up a wide range of existing Toyota cars with sporty body kits, aluminum pedals and small-diameter steering wheels. Even mundane models like the Prius and Noah MPV are getting the GR treatment. It’s currently only available in Japan, but Toyota said at the time of the announcement that it will gradually roll out the performance series into other territories. According to Automotive News, America isn’t being excluded, but it won’t be sold under the GR name, thankfully.
Instead, Toyota’s new sport range will be sold in the US under the TRD (Toyota Racing Development) name. This makes sense, since TRD is already an established Toyota tuner in the US, so executives don’t see a need for a rebrand. And let’s face it, TRD is a much more appealing name than Gazoo Racing. Toyota’s US executives apparently aren’t fond of the name either because it doesn’t have an obvious connection to Toyota. Some even liken it to the Great Gazoo alien from The Flintstones. GR’s hand-picked team of 200 people are handle all stages of product development, from design and engineering to production planning.
It’s part of a plan to create a bolder image for the brand to alleviate Toyota’s reputation for making boring cars, as well as find profitable ways to manufacture low-volume specialty cars. In reality, only the range-topping GRMN cars offer any performance advantages. Currently, the only car available is the Vitz which produces 209 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, accompanied by BBS forged aluminum wheels, a smaller steering wheel and a more aggressive body. Hopefully that will soon change when the new Supra is finally announced, which we should see debut at the Tokyo Motor Show next month packing a V6 with over 400 hp.