Rumors of Toyota turning its Gazoo Racing Team into a performance sub brand have been floating around Tokyo for more than a year.Today, it became official. “The decision was made to launch a new sports brand, the GR brand,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, CEO of GR, today at an event at Toyota’s Megaweb in Tokyo.
As expected, GR becomes Toyota’s performance sub-brand, something like BMW’s M, Mercedes AMG, Volkswagen R, Lexus F, etc. The GR brand is being launched with 9 models, ranging from a souped-up GR 86 on the basis of Toyota’s 86 sports car, all the way to a hot-rod GR Sport Voxy minivan.
(c) Bertel Schmitt
The GR performance brand starts with 9 models
Tomoyama is Toyota’s multi-role executive, he also is in charge of Toyota Marine, Toyota’s connected car business, and he is Toyota’s Chief Information Security Officer.
Initially, the GR brand will be focused on Japan, supported by a series of “GR Garage” themed shop-in-shop systems at Toyota dealerships, many of them converted “Area 86” shops, which will cease to exist.
Starting with a GR-series Yaris in Europe, the brand will be rolled-out internationally.