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New Toyota CEO hints that there is a future for GR performance


Koji Sato reveals that there will be a future for Toyota’s Gazoo Racing performance division 

Toyota’s newly appointed president, Koji Sato, has told UK media that the future of Toyota will include the performance-focused Gazoo Racing brand. 

Speaking with Autocar, Sato said that Akio Toyoda, his predecessor and Toyota’s master driver, could be working on more GR products moving forward as chairman. 

“Now he is only chairman, maybe he will have a lot more time to develop cars for them?” Sato said.

Toyota GR Corolla GTS 2023 front 3/4 track 2
The new Toyota GR Corolla has arrived in Australia

“The Gazoo [Racing] brand will be acknowledged for the future and maybe we can even speed it up,” Sato said. 

While this is far from a confirmation of any future product, it is understood that the GR brand will certainly live on even in the electric era. 

GR sports car with LFA-like styling likely to be in development

2022 Toyota sports car concept
Toyota’s electric sports car concept from last year

When Toyota announced its electrified concept lineup, one car that stood out from the crowd was the GR sports car concept. 

With clear styling influences from the Lexus LFA supercar, there has been little word on this future sports car as a production model, but if GR remains in Toyota’s grand plans, we will almost certainly see a finished product in the next five years or so. 

Information on powertrain and performance is still very much under wraps, however we could see a rear-drive or all-wheel-drive electric setup in time. 

2022 Toyota sports car concept on display
Toyota’s future sports car could be introduced within the next five years

A quick recap on Toyota GR 

In Australia, there are currently four full-blown GR products for sale: the GR Yaris, the GR Corolla, the GR86 and the GR Supra

But there is also a range of GR Sport branded products, too, with Toyota throwing the badge onto its Land Cruiser 300 Series, the C-HR, Yaris Cross, and in 2023, the Hilux

Toyota Land Cruiser 2022 GR Sport red grille
The GR Sport badge now sits on models such as the Land Cruiser 300 Series

We’ve done a great explainer piece on the differences between the GR grades previously on Chasing Cars that you can find here

Toyota Gazoo Racing was introduced in 2007 as the motorsport division of Toyota. While the name is now widely known for its production models, on the motorsport side of things, Toyota’s Gazoo Racing division also competes in the World Rally Championship and the World Endurance Championship.