Toyota Japan launches sporty GR sub-brand

Toyota Japan launches sporty GR sub-brand

The Japanese automaker is introducing a new "GR" series at home in Japan with a three-tier roster for the performance models in the range - topped by the "GRMN" models, and joined by the mid-level GR and entry-level "GR Sport".

So far Toyota has rolled out the GR trim only in Japan, but last week confirmed plans to launch the Yaris GRMN in Europe, suggesting the GR lineup will ultimately take on a global presence. It's convoluted range that covers everything from minivans to sports cars over three "levels" of intensity, so do make sure you're paying attention. These will be limited-edition cars featuring the biggest upgrades, including tuned engines. Toyota GR models get Sachs shocks, additional bracing and a manual shift mode in CVT models that imitates a 10-speed automatic gearbox.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to get you acquainted with Toyota's new, Gazoo Racing-fettled performance auto line-up. For example, an 86 GR unveiled on Tuesday sports Sachs shock absorbers, a Torsen limited-slip differential, uprated brake calipers, forged aluminum wheels, and Recaro seats.

So far there's no official word that we'll see the GR sub-brand arrive in the USA market.

The GR Sport models will just get styling upgrades, like the more aggressive Prius Prime. The small hatchback also gets an upgraded suspension and 17-in BBS wheels.

For the next 100 years, Toyota will do things that demonstrate that "cars are fun", President Akio Toyoda told a GR brand launch event in Tokyo, apparently bearing in mind talk that the industry is in a once-in-100-year change.

Toyota is also opening a chain of shops called GR Garages where drivers can test the cars and have parts added to their own Toyota vehicles. The new GR sub-brand actually replaces the Japan-only G's sub-brand launched earlier this decade.