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Toyota Hilux GR, Corolla GR and C-HR GR won't go hybrid: New performance trio to give electrification a miss

With the GR HiLux looming, Toyota’s GR performance sub-brand doesn’t currently have electrification plans.

Toyota has revealed its emerging Gazoo Racing (GR) performance sub-brand won’t have a hybrid model in the short term, with the heavily rumoured GR HiLux ute, GR Corolla hatch and wagon, and GR C-HR SUV all but confirmed to give electrification a miss.

With the GR Yaris hatch in showrooms in November, Toyota Australia vice-president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley told journalists today the GR range will grow further in the future, having launched last year with the GR Supra.

“I don’t have any announcements today on any expanded models, but I think that it would be realistic to believe that GR will continue to expand in the future. To what extent, what variants that comes in, I’m not quite sure sitting here today,” he said.

When asked if hybrid powertrains will feature in future GR models, Mr Hanley revealed electrification isn’t on the cards for the performance sub-brand in the short term.

“I have no knowledge of any GR hybrid as I sit here talking to you today, but it’s a dream I would have, because I think it would be an exciting progression around hybrid to one day have a sports/performance car that’s available to the market. That would be truly exciting,” he said. “I’d never rule it out.”

As reported, the GR HiLux is expected be powered by a powerful turbo-diesel V6 engine, which it will likely take from the upcoming LandCruiser 300 Series and possibly other Toyota models.

CarsGuide also understands the GR HiLux is unlikely form part of the HiLux’s current life cycle, with it to likely be part of its next generation, probably in 2023. Either way, Australian trademark applications for the GR HiLux and GR Corolla were filed in the past 14 months.

Speaking of which, the GR Corolla and the GR C-HR are both expected to be motivated by a 200kW/370Nm 1.6-litre turbo-petrol three-cylinder engine, which debuted in the GR Yaris. Similarly, a rally-inspired GR-Four all-wheel-drive system is also likely for the duo.

According to a recent report, the GR Corolla will be revealed first, in September next year, while the GR C-HR will debut one month later. There’s still no firm word on when the pair will go sale, but 2022 seems likely.

It’s worth noting Toyota revealed the GR Super Sport Concept in January 2018, with the hybrid coupe a preview of its entrant in the imminent 2020/2021 FIA World Endurance Championship’s new hypercar class, which requires at least 20 road-legal examples of every competing model to be produced within two years of the start of the competition.

That said, it’s possible the road-legal production model based on the GR Super Sport Concept won’t be electrified, while the race car will be. Of course, time will tell if Mr Hanley’s comments also apply to this new model.