Toyota will be bringing some serious performance metal to the upcoming Tokyo Auto Salon 2022 customised car event which opens in Chiba City in Japan next week. It's part of a big New Year push for Toyota's high-performance Gazoo Racing brand - think of it as Toyota's answer to Mercedes' AMG or Ford's RS.
'Fully tuned' GR Yaris
Front and centre at the show will be what Gazoo calls "the fully tuned model of the GR Yaris." An amped-up Yaris has been spotted in recent months testing at the Nurburgring in Germany, and this appears to be the production-ready fruits of those tests. Although Toyota has only issued a darkened image of the car, it's easy to spot that this up-gunned GR Yaris has a big bonnet vent, a bigger rear wing, and what looks like the chin-splitter to end all chin-splitters. No word as yet on whether the engine has been tuned, but we'd be surprised if this 'fully tuned' model is boasting anything less than 300hp.
Besides the tweaked GR Yaris on the stand will be a slightly more mysterious car - a GT3-spec racing car. GT3 racing has been a huge global success, with international and national series attracting entries from the likes of Porsche (which, of course, makes a road-going 911 GT3 in homage to its racing cars), Ferrari, McLaren, Bentley, Lamborghini, and Mercedes-AMG.
Supra-based GT3 racer?
Again, we're only getting a darkened preview image for now, but the silhouette of the GR GT3 Concept is very clearly a front-engined car (no barrier to success in GT3 - check out the Mercedes-AMG GT) and therefore could be based on the current Supra, although that's supposition on our part - the rear styling of the concept doesn't look quite right for a Supra. Either way, Toyota has been keen in recent years to break into GT racing, to complement its storming success at the pinnacle of world sports and endurance car racing, with its multiple Le Mans wins. With GT3 being tipped as a potential, more affordable replacement for the current Le Mans GTE road-based racing car regulations, we wouldn't be at all surprised if this does turn out to be a GT3-spec Supra, allowing Toyota the possibility of works wins in both of Le Mans' big categories.
Racing improves the breed
All of this is, theoretically, a major case of racing improving the breed, with Toyota promising that the experiences of racing such cars on track, and on rally stages, trickles down into improving the cars that you and I can buy. "Toyota Gazoo Racing strives to offer ever-better motorsports-bred cars and is participating in top categories such as the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) along with domestic rallies and races. The technology and knowledge gained through these activities is used in the creation of new road cars" said a Toyota spokesperson.
Alongside these two new cars, Toyota will also be displaying its GR010 Hybrid that won all of the races in the World Endurance Championship in 2021, as well as cars from domestic and international competitions such as Super GT, the Japanese Super Formula Championship, and Japanese Rally Championship.