Toyota Mulls Over Its Inaugural High-Performance GR SUV

Toyota GR SUV (Toyota)

Toyota’s Gazoo Racing division has been on a hot streak, churning out well-received sports cars and hot hatches. However, the company’s president, Tomoya Takahashi, believes that a performance SUV is missing from the lineup.

Takahashi wants to cater to customers who need a practical vehicle without sacrificing performance. While Toyota already offers GR Sport versions of its SUVs, they are milder compared to the full-fledged GR products.

White Toyota GR SUV (Toyota)

Takahashi acknowledges that developing a new product requires prioritization, given the company’s limited resources. However, he didn’t specify which model would come first. The Yaris Cross, C-HR, and Corolla Cross are potential candidates for the Gazoo Racing treatment, with the larger RAV4 also being a contender.

Our speculative rendering showcases a potential Toyota GR C-HR, featuring a sportier body kit, lowered suspension, new wheels, and upgraded brakes. It could be powered by the same turbocharged 1.6-liter three-cylinder engine as the GR Yaris and GR Corolla, producing up to 300 hp.

While Toyota denied rumors of a GR Yaris Cross a few years ago, the debut of the Lexus LBX Morizo RR concept, which uses many GR parts, suggests that a performance-focused version of the closely related Yaris Cross could be possible in the future.

Toyota wouldn’t be the first to offer a performance-focused SUV in this segment, with competitors like Volkswagen, Cupra, Mini, and Hyundai already having similar offerings. Even premium automakers like BMW, Mercedes-AMG, and Audi Sport have a range of performance SUVs in their lineups.