Toyota is trying to morph itself into an edgier, bolder, and sexier model — to various levels of success. Nevertheless, a lot of the corporate’s makeover has been purely beauty. The exception is Gazoo Racing, the automaker’s motorsport division and new in-house efficiency arm behind Toyota’s GR-series passenger automobiles.
Curiously, Gazoo actually means “picture” in Japanese and a few of the upgraded fashions have been about little else. Nonetheless, a few of the restricted version automobiles seem like hoonable maniacs when in comparison with the bottom unit. The supercharged Yaris GRMN (Gazoo Racing Masters of Nürburgring) with over 200 horsepower is a chief instance.
Aiming to go extra mainstream, Toyota has determined to unfurl a variety of GR and GR Sport fashions that gained’t be handicapped by restricted manufacturing numbers. Amongst them is the bewildering Prius Prime GR Sport, a sizzling hatch variant of the economy-minded hybrid. Toyota has formally misplaced its thoughts.
President Akio Toyoda appeared to take private offense on the notion that his firm was famend for producing high quality machines with out providing a lot in the best way of zest. He’s made it his mission to spice issues up, however a efficiency variant of the Prius isn’t one thing anybody might have anticipated.
Nevertheless, “efficiency” is a relative time period when discussing the Prius GR Sport as a result of it provides no extra energy output. As a substitute, Toyota has outfitted it with new bodywork, a sports-tuned suspension, extra structural bracing, a smaller steering wheel, sport pedals, and an analog tachometer.
The identical goes for the the opposite GR and GR Sport fashions, which incorporates the whole lot from the smaller Aqua (our Prius C) to the extra sporting 86. Toyota doesn’t bolster energy on something however the top-tier GRMN models. That’s a disgrace as a result of it could be good to see a well-balanced mannequin with a couple of additional ponies.
Our guess is that Toyota desires to make good on its promise to maintain what’s greatest about Toyota and throw in some low-cost thrills. Tuning an engine doesn’t often assist its longevity, which is a trademark of the model. However not even the 86 GR sees an uptick in output. Unveiled Tuesday, the two+2 positive factors Sachs shock absorbers, a Torsen limited-slip differential, upgraded calipers, Rays aluminum wheels, and Recaro seats — however no engine upgrades to talk of.
Toyota says the GR sub-brand can be launched in Japan first and are available solely in white, with the 86 GR arriving inside a few months. Different markets will observe, however North America remains to be an enormous query mark. The corporate wouldn’t explicitly say which markets have the inexperienced mild, however Europe is virtually assured for the reason that Yaris GRMN is already offered there.
We’re betting GR will make it to the Americas in some capability, although. It could be one other alternative for Toyota redefine itself and there stays a powerful fanatic market within the west. On the very least, we’d count on to see a few of the aftermarket components present up right here finally.
The dolled-up Prius can keep in Japan, although. We gained’t be needing it and are content material to attend for the Supra.