Of all the talk surrounding Toyota's push into the performance space - from the GR Corolla to the GR Yaris, and even the all-but-confirmed GR HiLux - there is one model that is yet to be mentioned in the same breath as Gazoo Racing, and that is the rugged and popular Fortuner SUV.
The question we ask, though, is why not? With details now beginning to emerge about just what could be powering GR Fortuner, we think there'd be a queue around the block for the HiLux-based SUV.
The Fortuner is essentially an SUV version of the HiLux, which means it gets that model's powertrains a matter of course. Like when the ute was updated for the 2020 model year, getting more tech, power and capability, the Fortuner followed suit.
The biggest change was under the bonnet, though, where the Fortuner's 2.8-litre diesel engine was tweaked to produce a HiLux-matching 150kW and 500Nm. So in short, the Fortuner gets what the HiLux gets. Can you see where we're going with this?
Because we now know that the Toyota GR HiLux, which is expected to launch in 2023, could possibly out-punch its arch rivals, given it will likely be fitted with the rumoured 3.3-litre diesel V6 expected to be fitted to the LandCruiser 300 Series.
While Toyota is yet to officially confirm the model, the brand has trademarked the name "GR HiLux" in Australia, with the go-fast ute expected to launch with the next new HiLux, possibly in 2023. We think it's a case of when, not if.
We also know from Toyota that the brand was looking for a "big diesel" to power its performance-flavoured HiLux, and according to fresh reports out of Japan, the brand will launch the LandCruiser 300 Series with just such an engine, a new 3.3-litre V6 diesel.
So, let's draw a line here. A GR HiLux would get a thumping 3.3-litre V6 diesel. And Fortuner gets what HiLux gets. Does that mean we're also waiting for a Toyota GR Fortuner?
The brand has already confirmed, back in 2019, that it would focus on GR and GR Sport models for each of its core models, saying: "we are trying to build more of an obvious link to the GR brand, which is why we are establishing for each of our core models a GR Sport derivative."
So is the Fortuner a core model? Let's hope so. We put that very question to Toyota in Australia, and the answer was a strong... maybe.
"We are always evaluating trends, and if the market moves in that direction then we wouldn't rule anything out," a spokesperson told CarsGuide.