Intriguing Toyota Trademarks Hint at Boosted Honda Rivalry
There’s no question that Toyota wishes posters of its cars were found on the bedroom walls of more teenage boys, and, to its credit, it’s made headway on that goal. Supra, anyone? Then there’s the TRD Camry and Avalon, which might raise eyebrows if found in said posters.
That said, the injection of sport into the brand’s once staid lineup seems poised to target the lower end of things. We’ve seen the overseas GR Yaris, an exciting hot hatch not bound for these shores, but Toyota’s focus now seems to be turning to higher-volume small cars. This is where things could get interesting for North America.
Sadly, there’s no evidence yet of a performance-focused Honda Civic-Corolla rivalry in the U.S., but there is Down Under. As noted by the gr86.org forum, a series of Australian trademark applications points to a number of GR (Gazoo Racing)-badged compacts in that market.
The proposed nameplates include GR Corolla, C-HR GR-Sport, and C-HR GR-S. Quite a lot of attention feasted upon the brand’s subcompact crossover (available with all-wheel drive in Australia), no? What’s more interesting is the performance trim ladder displayed here. GR-Sport is more of an appearance job than anything else, similar to Volkswagen’s R-Line trim. GR and GR-S would represent hotter and hottest variants.
Already, a GR-Sport version of the C-HR has appeared in Japan, and it’s rumored that a Corolla with performance on par with the Civic Si could be on the market by 2023. Which begs the question: is North America — and the hottest of Honda’s Civic family, the Type R — in Toyota’s sights? It would be nice to see the hot hatch segment gain a new member.
Thus far, the U.S. trademark database shows no sign of similar Corolla and C-HR planning on this side of the ocean. Even in Australia Toyota’s being tight-lipped, with a spokesperson telling that country’s CarAdvice that it couldn’t comment on the trademarks, “except to say that we would not rule any of these out for Australia.”
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