Published on May 2nd, 2023 | by Sounder Rajen0
New Toyota CEO Suggests There May Be More GR Sports Cars On The Way
Apparently the former CEO of Toyota now has more time to focus on GR cars
After a long and distinguished career as the CEO of one of the most successful car companies in the world, Toyota Motor Co, Akio Toyoda has stepped down and handed over the reins to the very capable, Koji Sato, but in true Japanese, fashion, Mr. Toyoda is still working hard, this time on more sporty GR models.
Despite stepping down, Mr. Toyoda is not slowing down, this was implied by Mr. Sato himself who is known for intensifying the role of electric vehicles (EVs) in the Toyota brand, and suggested that Mr. Toyoda will use all his new found free time to develop new GR brand models for the brand and we are excited.
Moreover, Mr. Sato said during an interview with Autocar, “The Gazoo brand will be acknowledged for the future – and maybe we can even speed it up. Our Master Driver (Akio Toyoda) was also president of the company at the same time as he had a steering wheel in his hand for Gazoo. Now he is only chairman, maybe he will have a lot more time to develop cars for them?”
After all, Mr. Toyoda earned the nickname, “Master Driver” for a reason and since he is also the one who launched the special GR division, surely, there is no one better suited to create the new generation of new Toyota GR vehicles and it is also good to see that Mr. Sato is all for Mr. Toyoda’s strategy of making more driver oriented cars.
On top of that, the current Toyota GR lineup here in Malaysia includes the Hilux, Corolla Cross, GR86, GR Supra and GR Corolla hot hatch and Mr. Sato did not specifically get into the new additions to this lineup but rest assured, Toyota is sure to have some good news for us sooner or later in terms of the GR lineup.
Some rumoured GR vehicles include the GR Sports Concept that debuted in December 2021 which previewed a lightweight production roadster, which will be either fully electric or with a low displacement engine. It has also been reported that Toyota is working on a spiced-up variant of the bZ4x electric SUV with GR badges.
Another rumour includes the company’s experimental yet promising projects with hydrogen-fueled combustion engines which are being tested in Yaris and Corolla prototypes. After the success of the Toyota Mirai Hydrogen car and Hydrogen Hilux pickup truck concept, these new hydrogen cars should also find the same success.
Last month, Toyota also announced its revised electrification plan which brings a lot more emphasis to battery electric vehicles (BEVs). During that presentation, Hiroki Nakajima, Executive Vice President of Toyota, revealed that the design and driving performance of the next-generation EVs coming after 2026 will “set hearts racing.”