Get ready to see more performance from Toyota. Gazoo Racing, Toyota’s performance sub-brand, will soon be expanding to more models in the U.S. Recently, the automaker debuted the second-generation 86, which is the second model to get a GR badge in America, after Supra. But there are more coming.
Bob Carter, executive vice president of sales for Toyota North America, said in an interview with MotorTrend that the automaker plans to expand its performance sub-brand to more cars, not SUVs. “I don’t want to eliminate anything, but initially no. The importance is exhilarating driving. When you go to SUVs you have higher center of gravities and it’s just not conducive. Nothing is off the table, but initially you can expect it to be a car-based vehicle. There’s still a market for that.”
That makes us think that the next vehicle to sport a GR badge could be the Corolla hatchback, which could compete against the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Hyundai Veloster N and Mini JCW. If the GR Corolla hatchback is happening, we expect it to fall in the 220-250 horsepower range—a significant improvement over the current hatchback (which makes 169 hp).
If GR is not coming to SUVs anytime soon, we could also speculate on a GR Camry. While the midsize sedan already has a punchy V-6 variant, Hyundai and Kia launched performance-oriented variants of their Sonata N Line and K5 GT models, respectively. And while the Honda Accord Sport 2.0 is not technically a performance-oriented model, it still manages to fit in within that group of powerful midsize sedans.
“We have some Supra news coming, we have 86 news coming, but we have other models also coming. Come see me in a year from now,” Carter said.
We’ll be sure to pay Mr. Carter a visit.