When it comes to factory-fitted performance enhancements for Toyota vehicles, the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) sub-brand has been well established. Having built engines for the Japanese manufacturer’s racing exploits in its earlier days, TRD has gone on to stamp its name on various passenger vehicle models such as the Camry, Avalon and numerous others.
With the arrival of the Gazoo Racing nameplate on Toyota’s latest performance models such as the GR Supra and the GR Yaris, where does that leave TRD? Both will operate side by side as performance sub-brands for the automaker, said Toyota group vice president for marketing Ed Laukes to Automobile magazine.
Toyota believes that the TRD brand is here to stay with TRD versions of models such as the aforementioned Avalon and Camry, and the addition of the GR brand means that Toyota will be the only major brand in the United States with two distinct performance divisions, Laukes added.
While the GR Yaris is being studied for viability in the US market, the 2.0 litre GR Supra is likely to go on sale in that market.
Both performance sub-brands will have to be sufficiently distinguished from each other if this strategy is to work, Automobile noted; where TRD applied developments and refinements to existing models in Toyota’s line-up, models under the GR line-up will remain bespoke, and the GR Supra and the GR Yaris are two examples of building the sub-brand without crossing into TRD territory.
Though the Supra has already entered the US market, the GR Yaris hasn’t followed suit, although Toyota’s product planners are thinking about if it makes good business sense to sell it in the market, Laukes said. One GR model that appears likely to join the brand’s US line-up is the 2.0 litre GR Supra, which has been certified for sale in California, according to Motor Trend.
This four-cylinder Supra will use the B48 engine used in BMWs, and which produces 258 hp between 5,000 rpm and 6,500 rpm, and 400 Nm of torque between 1,550 rpm and 4,400 rpm. These are sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed ZF 8HP51 automatic gearbox, and offers a 100 kg weight saving over the 3.0 litre GR Supra, says Toyota.