Fire Puts Hydrogen-Powered Corolla Racer Out of Action
Toyota’s hydrogen-powered GR Corolla caught fire while testing at Fuji International Speedway last week, putting the vehicle out of action for the foreseeable future. The #32 ORC Rookie GR Corolla H2 Concept was designed as a proof of concept that fuel-cell vehicles can make excellent racers, that Toyota’s pursuit of hydrogen power hasn’t been in vain, and that net-zero emissions are achievable.
It was also supposed to compete in the first round of the ENEOS Super Taikyu Series 2023 sponsored by Hankook this weekend. However, Toyota has elected to run with the gasoline-powered ORC Rookie GR Yaris while the hydrogen model remains out of action.
QOTD: A GR Toyota Grand Highlander?
An independent digital artist in Hungary has decided to render something no one asked for but at least a few thousand folks probably would buy -- a GR version of the Toyota Grand Highlander.
The Right Spec: 2023 Toyota GR Corolla
Say what? A generation of drivers generally knows the Corolla as a beige sedan acting as a rolling roadblock in afternoon traffic. But as part of a continuing example of how having a true gearhead – Akio Toyoda – at the head of a car company can do wonders for entertaining product development, the three hundred horsepower GR Corolla has rolled out and dragged the nameplate into conversations with machines like the Civic Type R and other hot hatchbacks.
Parts Parade: Toyota Releases Heavily Modified GR 86 Concepts
Gazoo Racing (GR) has earned itself quite a bit of cachet since Akio Toyoda decided to make it the de facto performance arm of Toyota in 2009. It’s slowly supplanting Toyota Racing Development (TRD), which is still technically running the show but currently feels more like the manufacturer’s North American off-road racing division. GR has been producing global, models that actually provide enhanced performance and output from the factory while TRD has basically become the company’s in-house parts catalog.
However, Gazoo has some performance parts of its own and Toyota has been eagerly modifying the crap out of its vehicles as a way to tease them. The brand is now ready to start selling them and has re-released last month’s dual GR 86 concepts — designed to tickle the enthusiast community — with the relevant details.
Toyota Wants to Expand GR Performance Arm
Toyota is reportedly taking the performance aspects of its brand, which some of our readers might recall has been a little spotty, very seriously and has begun making plans to broaden the horizons of the Gazoo Racing (GR). The sub-brand, which seems to be gradually supplanting Toyota Racing Development (TRD), has introduced a slew of GR-badged models in Asia and Europe and will be affixing the title onto the returning 86 coupe. It has also slapped the performance designation onto the current-generation Supra here in North America, with no intention of stopping there.
According to Bob Carter, executive vice president of sales for Toyota North America, the Japanese manufacturer wants to extend the GR treatment to even more models.
Could Next Toyota Land Cruiser, If There is One, Get a GR Trim?
The Toyota Land Cruiser is dead. Long live the Toyota Land Cruiser?
The saga of the Land Cruiser is getting confusing. First, we picked up on reporting from Motor Authority that suggested the LC will soon be sent to the great junkyard in the sky, although the Lexus version will soldier on. Part of that report suggested that there is a new generation for the Land Cruiser on the way, but perhaps not to be sold here.
Rumor Mill: Toyota to Build Street-legal GR Super Sport Hypercar?
Previewed way back at the 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon, Toyota’s (Gazoo Racing) GR Super Sport Concept now serves as the template for its next entry into 24 Hour of Le Mans, tapped for the new Hypercar Class that’s effectively replacing FIA’s World Endurance Championship LMP1. The new classification is supposed to reinvigorate the sport by mandating homologation of the wildest inductees, a practice which often leads to the most stunning performance machines ever to grace the road.
That means Toyota has to build at least 20 examples of something street legal that shares more than a handful of components with its LM racer. Rumor has it, something is already in development — and should exist well beyond the confines of what one normally thinks of when they envision Toyota products.
New Details Emerge for 86/BRZ Successor: More Power, Newish Name
Thanks largely to its status as a niche product, the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ have been on deathwatch for years. But their saving grace as stellar machines to drive has kept them from being abandoned. The Toyobaru Twins still receive quite a bit of love, even if the affection is not spread around all that liberally. Despite this, both models are expected to receive a successor.
While a quick glance at their sales record makes this seem like a losing strategy, Toyota remains obsessed with rebuilding its reputation within motorsport (often with help from another manufacturer). Toyota head Akio Toyoda has even expressed a personal dream of returning to an era where the company has revived — or replaced — its most iconic performance models. The Supra and 86 are already here, leaving room for the Celica and/or MR2. Ditching the 86 would be a step backwards, even if it only moved 3,398 units in the United States last year — its worst showing to date.
Toyota Announces 2.0-liter Supra With Some Unique Perks
Up until now, the 2020 Toyota Supra has only been available with a 3.0-liter, turbocharged inline-six sourced from BMW. Producing 335 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque, the mill is best suited for those interested in track-day excursions and tempting fate on sweeping backroads. However, there’s a new entry level model coming to Europe that caters to those seeking the Supra experience who find themselves a few grand shy of being able to buy the thing.
On Tuesday, Toyota announced the “first extension of the GR Supra sports car range” will carry a 2.0-liter turbo making 258 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. While the manufacturer calls it a new engine, it’s technically another mill sourced from BMW (the Z4 already uses it). But that shouldn’t keep it from being a welcome addition to the GR Supra party.
Ace of Base: 2020 Toyota Supra
This one is sure to set tongues wagging and keyboards clacking. The return of the mighty Supra nameplate is — depending to whom you speak — either an abomination the likes of which the motoring world has never seen, or a wonderful harbinger of all things fun and sporty.
For the record, your author is in the latter camp. Don’t @ me.
Three trims of the are new Supra available at launch: Base 3.0, Premium 3.0, and a Launch Edition. Is the entry-level model worth a mention? Or should one proceed directly to one of the more expensive options?
Toyota Supra TRD Concept Debuts On Japanese Parts Website
Considering the Toyota Supra was revealed to the world just a few weeks ago, it feels slightly premature for the manufacturer to start releasing special editions of the model. However, we’ve heard it’s important to strike while the iron is hot in business and the Supra is certainly operating well above room temperature. It would be silly to think Toyota would cool its heels after two years of teasing the Supra just because it finally went on sale.
Now that you can buy the coupe, Toyota wants everyone to know that they’ll also be able to purchase snazzy upgrades for it through the performance catalog and released the GR Supra Performance Line Concept TRD over the weekend as a reminder. Like the BMW M Performance Parts Concept that appeared over the summer, the Supra exists to show the world what’s possible when the full force of the TRD catalog is harnessed.
Unfortunately, engine upgrades aren’t currently a part of that equation. Like the M Performance car, the TRD Supra receives no improvements to its powertrain. Instead, Toyota showcased a festival of spoilers and fins aimed at optimizing the coupe’s aerodynamics.
And Then There Were Two: Toyota Builds Second Century GRMN
Built for current Toyota patriarch Akio Toyoda, the Century GRMN celebrates both the man and his desire to create a more emotive and performance-driven automaker. With the V12 gone, the standard Toyota Century is powered by a direct-injected, 5.0-liter V8 with a two-stage electric motor and nickel-metal hydride battery. The powertrain is good for a claimed for 375 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, delivered silky smooth.
Painted white (below the break), the GRMN prototype nixes some chrome trim and adds black ground effects, subtle red stripes, and applicable badging. But Toyota never bothered to tell us what Gazoo Racing actually did to improve the car. Presumably, suspension and engine upgrades abound. But, as the car was meant as a one-off gift for Toyota’s president, we never heard about them.
Then, at the Tokyo Auto Salon, a second one appeared — casting doubts that this car doesn’t have aspirations for a super-lux market that’s currently thriving.
Toyota Mulls Corolla As the Next Performance Model in GR Lineup
Ten years ago, Toyota fielded a solid lineup of passenger vehicles that were about as exciting as lukewarm tap water. However, the company has since embarked on a quest to change its trajectory and spice things up. Phase one included revision to the firm’s design language. Phase two involved tapping into the brand’s performance heritage and utilizing Gazoo Racing to help develop performance variants of existing models in Japan.
With models like the Supra making a return and other re-imaginings of performance icons in the works, things are now clipping along at full steam over at Toyota. Unfortunately, not all of its upcoming offerings make sense. While the TRD versions of the Camry and Avalon do more to bolster dynamics than sport-inspired appearance packages offered by other manufacturers, next month’s debut of the TRD Prius is utterly bewildering. These aren’t the first models that come to mind when one imagines Toyota injecting more pep and attitude into the brand.