Browse over 9,000 car reviews

"We need GR SUVs": Is Toyota's Gazoo Racing working on a faster Toyota RAV4, Corolla Cross or Yaris Cross? And what about a faster GR HiLux to take on the Ford Ranger Raptor?

Toyota Toyota News Toyota RAV4 Toyota RAV4 News Toyota Corolla Cross Toyota Corolla Cross News Toyota Yaris Cross Toyota Yaris Cross News Car News News Industry news
GR President Tomoya Takahashi says GR needs an SUV.
GR President Tomoya Takahashi says GR needs an SUV.

The head of Toyota’s performance brand, Gazoo Racing (GR), says for the car giant’s ‘go-fast’ arm to continue to grow it may need an SUV as part of its line-up.

A limited number of journalists were in attendance at a small conference at Toyota Australia’s Altona headquarters, where GR Company President Tomoya Takahashi answered questions about the future of GR and his own hopes for the brand.

Details of future product were scarce, the topic of potentially including SUVs and utes into the GR range inevitably came up. Takahashi was happy to say his own point of view was that SUVs may be necessary to expand the GR brand.

“To expand the GR brand, maybe those are needed as well,” Takahashi told journalists via a translator, adding that SUVs have a broader appeal than other cars because “some people can only use SUVs because they have families”.

Additionally, he said that adding a new model to the GR brand is a big task due to the company’s relative size.

“GR Company only has small resources for development,” he said.

The Yaris Cross GR Sport is a regular hybrid
The Yaris Cross GR Sport is a regular hybrid

Jumping in to speak in English himself, Takahashi gave his own personal opinion (in a rare move for a Toyota executive, given the brand’s hesitancy to talk about future products) that a GR SUV would be important to the brand eventually.

“In future, in my individual point of view, we need GR SUV cars,” he said, reiterating that he definitely meant it wasn’t on the cards right now: “In future!”

Perhaps more inevitable in a media conference regarding future directions, however, is the question of whether we can expect a ute - in this case a HiLux to appear in the full performance GR line-up in the future, rather than just as a glammed-up GR Sport as part of the HiLux range.

Takahashi was less enthusiastic about the idea of a GR HiLux: “A GR special car? No, only GR Sport.”

So while the Ford Ranger Raptor will continue to go unchallenged by Toyota, the possibility of a performance variant for the RAV4, Corolla Cross or Yaris Cross remains.

Don't expect to see a proper GR HiLux
Don't expect to see a proper GR HiLux

While the RAV4 is by far the most popular of those three as a standard variant, to maintain its focus on performance cars being fun, GR could consider a smaller SUV as its target - the latter two being most likely.

Of course, for now, it’s Takahashi’s opinion that a GR SUV is needed, rather than a full business plan, though if the man in charge wants it, chances are the possibility will start being mapped out soon enough.

Chris Thompson
Racing video games, car-spotting on road trips, and helping wash the family VL Calais Turbo as a kid were all early indicators that an interest in cars would stay present in Chris’ life, but loading up his 1990 VW Golf GTI Mk2 and moving from hometown Brisbane to work in automotive publishing in Melbourne ensured cars would be a constant. With a few years as MOTOR Magazine’s first digital journalist under his belt, followed by a stint as a staff journalist for Wheels Magazine, Chris’ career already speaks to a passion for anything with four wheels, especially the 1989 Mazda MX-5 he currently owns. From spending entire weeks dissecting the dynamic abilities of sports cars to weighing up the practical options for car buyers from all walks of life, Chris’ love for writing and talking about cars means if you’ve got a motoring question, he can give you an answer.
About Author
Trending News