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What is the Toyota GR brand? GR vs GRMN vs GR Sport explained


Toyota has launched a wave of Gazoo Racing products, but not all cars launched under this performance brand are created with the same mission in mind 

Over the past few years, Toyota has globally launched a massive GR offensive – a brand name much like Hyundai’s N and BMW’s M division – however not all are equal. 

There are four different GR nameplates – GR, GRMN, GR Sport and GR Super Sport – so let’s take a look at what each of these mean and how they interact with each other in the Toyota ecosystem. 

Gazoo Racing was founded in 2007 when an in-house Toyota driving team competed in the 24 Hours Nurburgring. When the name ‘Works Toyota Racing’ couldn’t be used, the name ‘Team Gazoo’ came about instead. 

Toyota Yaris GRMN 2018 night shot
The Toyota Yaris GRMN from 2018

In 2015, Toyota united all of its motorsport activities into one performance division, Gazoo Racing, but the performance side of the business has slowly trickled down into Toyota’s road cars, too. 

Toyota GRMN

One of the first GR products to get global attention was the 2017 Toyota GRMN Yaris that was manufactured with a 1.8-litre supercharged petrol four-cylinder engine. With front-wheel drive and outputs of 156kW/250Nm, this performance Yaris was one of the first of its kind to be produced. 

Only 400 units were made and none came to Australia, however this model was succeeded by the mass-produced, all-wheel drive GR Yaris in 2020. 

Toyota Yaris GRMN 2018 driving shot
The Toyota Yaris GRMN used a supercharged four-cylinder engine

With a greater push for GR-branded vehicles (see below), the GRMN part of Gazoo Racing seems to have become a smaller focus for the Japanese automaker. 

GRMN currently focuses on small production run variants of Toyota vehicles that have mainly revolved around special edition versions of the Yaris small car. 

Toyota has built 500 units of its new 2023 GRMN Yaris that features a stripped out interior, roll cage and Recaro race seats for the Japanese market. Again, none of these units are likely to come down under.

The latest Yaris GRMN will have just 500 units

Toyota GR

The GR badge is put on Toyota vehicles that are categorised as high-performance sports cars. 

To compare this brand to others, the full GR models by Toyota are similar to Hyundai’s full N cars, BMW’s M division and Mercedes-AMG

Toyota GR Supra 2023 manual white studio
The new manual Toyota GR Supra coming in 2023

The first Toyota GR product to launch in Australia was the GR Yaris, an all-wheel drive high-performance version of Toyota’s small city car. 

But now, the Toyota GR brand encompasses the GR86 (the second-generation Toyota 86), GR Corolla and GR Supra, with the two door, BMW-developed model receiving its GR badge well after its initial on sale date.

Toyota GR Sport 

The GR Sport range sits below the full-blown GR models and is more focused on suspension and aesthetic differences rather than engine performance and driveline changes. 

Toyota Land Cruiser 2022 GR Sport red outback
The Toyota Land Cruiser GR Sport sold here in Australia

This range of cars can be compared to Hyundai’s N-Line range, as well as BMW’s M Sport and M-lite products.

GR Sport is a much bigger part of Toyota’s GR business, with the Corolla Cross, C-HR, Fortuner, Hilux, Land Cruiser 300 Series, Yaris and Yaris Cross now all with the GR Sport nameplate in many global markets.

For Australia, the Land Cruiser 300 Series and C-HR currently have GR Sport variants, however Toyota has announced a new flagship Hilux dual-cab ute will also carry the GR Sport name and will likely compete with the new Ford Ranger Raptor

Toyota Hilux GR Sport 2022
Even the Hilux dual-cab will soon get a flagship GR Sport variant

Toyota GR Super Sport

The GR Super Sport broke cover two years ago as Toyota’s newest road-going hypercar. It made its debut at the 24 hours of Le Mans and used a 2.4-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine and a Toyota hybrid system taken from the Le Mans hybrid prototype. The Super Sport concept is claimed to produce around 735kW of power

According to a report by Motor1, the GR Super Sport project is likely to have been abandoned due to safety concerns. 

While production is yet to begin for this limited-run hypercar, it might be more likely that the GR Super Sport could transition into a fully electric model and could even be rebranded as the Lexus LFA all-electric successor. Only time will tell.

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