Toyota plans to expand new GR sport series lineup outside Japanese market

The raciest Toyotas could make it stateside.

Beginning with the Yaris GRMN revealed in Europe in March 2017, TMC plans to deploy the GR series outside of Japan gradually.
Beginning with the Yaris GRMN revealed in Europe in March 2017, TMC plans to deploy the GR series outside of Japan gradually. –Toyota Global Newsroom

Toyota might be launching its lineup of sport-tuned models only in the Japanese market, but that doesn’t mean it’s forgotten about the rest of the world.

The new GR Series — short for Gazoo Racing — was unveiled in Japan on Tuesday, but Toyota says it will “gradually” introduce the range in other markets — though it didn’t specify which ones.

Aimed at “cultivating a sense of excitement around the car culture,” the GR Series will be comprised of three performance tiers — GR Sport, GR and the most performance-oriented, GRMN — and will include go-faster versions of everything from the rear-wheel-drive 86, to the subcompact Yaris and even the hybrid Prius. In addition, the automaker is rolling out a range of GR Parts, which are aftermarket performance upgrades — similar to TRD Parts — for owners of standard Toyota models.

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The GR Sport level will be the most tamed of the three, adding extra chassis bracing, stiffer suspension and a sports steering wheel. At the GR tier, cars also will receive aerodynamic enhancements, forged wheels, upgraded shocks, improved brakes and limited-slip differentials, and are fitted with Recaro seats on the interior.

As for the GRMN-badged models, as we saw on the Yaris GRMN, Toyota will not only improve their handling characteristics, but also give them a decent boost in power. There’s no word yet on when Toyota will reveal the other markets that will get the GR Series.

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