A go-faster version of Toyota’s GT86 sports car for the European market could be on the cards, a company executive has revealed.
Speaking at the launch of the new Yaris supermini, Toyota product manager Neil Spires expressed a desire to see the GRMN nameplate – which is set to appear on the supercharged Yaris hot-hatchback in 2018 – extended to other models in the company’s line-up.
The GRMN name, which stands for Gazoo Racing Masters of Nurburgring, has appeared on limited-run, Japan-only Toyota models in the past, including the GT86 and iQ. It now seems production versions for the European market could be highly likely.
Spires said: “Gazoo Racing is an exciting sub-brand for us, which is long overdue. We haven’t seen that kind of strategy in a while for Toyota – similar to what Lexus has done with F-Division and F-Sport.
— ToyotaGB (@ToyotaGB) April 9, 2017
“So yes, we really hope that we’ll see GRMN in other vehicles and it won’t be a one-off – that’s the expectation.”
When asked if this could mean a GT86 GRMN could be put into production, Spires said: “Let’s hope so. I’d be really disappointed if we don’t see Gazoo Racing not only on our sports cars, but also on our core models. Why do it, otherwise?
“It’s really encouraging to see what they’ve done in Japan and now Europe. I think it will be an exciting time for that aspect of the company over the next few years.”
The new Yaris GRMN is powered by a supercharged 1.8-litre engine that company insiders have said could produce in excess of 220bhp by the time it is homologated. The standard GT86 produces 197bhp, so a potentially supercharged version would no doubt trump the Yaris’ power output considerably – if it was to be put into production.