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Toyota Launches New GR Sport Performance Sub-Brand

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Toyota Vitz GRMN

Toyota has announced the launch of a new, three-tiered performance sub-brand called the GR Sport Series that will bolster its lineup of sporty cars in Japan. GR stands for “Gazoo Racing,” Toyota’s already existing motorsport arm.

At the bottom of the range will be entry-level GR Sport models, followed by a mid-tier GR models, and topped off by the Vitz GRMN, the Japanese-spec version of the Yaris GRMN it showed off at the 2017 Geneva Auto Show, and the 86 GR. The Toyota Prius Prime, Mark X, Noah, and Harrier will all be offered in GR Sport variants.

Key features across the range will include GR-branded sport seats, a new grille, silver accent stitching, and an exclusive engine start/stop button. The base GR Sport models will get aluminum pedals, a smaller steering wheel, black shifter, unique tachometer, more bracing, and sportier suspension. Mid-tier GR models will get even more aggressive suspension settings via Sachs shock absorbers as well as additional spot welding and bracing, plus a manual shift mode on CVT models that mimics a 10-speed automatic.

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At the top of the range, the Vitz GRMN will boast a 1.8-liter supercharged four-cylinder engine with limited-slip differential, Sachs shocks, BBS alloy wheels, and Recaro sport seats. The Toyota 86 GR will also get the shocks and seats as well as Rays alloy wheels, a unique aero kit, a single exhaust tip, and more capable brakes.

Though the sub-brand is launching exclusively in Japan for now, Toyota plans to expand the GR Sport Series of vehicles outside of its home market. Europe is the likeliest candidate but should demand be high enough, it’s possible the automaker will bring some of its image-redefining sports cars to the United States as well.

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