TRaDitional to GnaRly: Your guide to current Toyota GR models

For decades, if you want a faster and more hot-looking Toyota, you’d look for three letters: TRD.

Toyota Racing Development has been the Japanese automaker’s performance and motorsports division since the 80s, and we Filipinos aren’t strangers to what TRD stands for – whether with just mere aesthetic upgrades or skin-deep with performance parts.

But Toyota fans will have to accustom themselves to something new this time around. Toyota Gazoo Racing (or simply GR) is the new TRD, and we residing in the ASEAN get an early taste of what this new Toyota GR is all about, specifically in Indonesia.

Out with the TRD and in with the GR, a barrage of Toyota models bearing the GR badge has been introduced just recently, which may or may not arrive in the Philippines. Some are already here, mind you, so here’s a definitive guide

Full GR models

Full-fledged Toyota GR production models are developed under the Gazoo Racing umbrella. Not only do they look the part, they also come with performance chops worthy of the GR badge.

Two of the three GR models are already here in the Philippines: the GR Supra which I was able to test earlier this year, and the recently launched three-door GR Yaris which I drove during Toyota’s media track day with the hot hatch.

The other model in the full GR range that’s yet to arrive is the GR 86, previously known as the GT 86 or just the 86 in other markets.

GR-Sport/GR-S

While Toyota went full steam ahead in developing the full GR models, there are those that are dressed to bear the GR branding. They come with an extra letter – S for Sport, and one of them is already here in the country.

I’m talking about the Vios GR-S, the new top-of-the-line model that arrived earlier this year. Apart from the body kits and the variant-exclusive leather sits with suede inserts, the Vios GR-S is also the only variant in the range that comes with a CVT with 10 simulated gears.

As mentioned, Indonesia recently got a bevy of new GR-badged vehicles that may or may not reach the Philippines. These are the Fortuner GR Sport, the Rush GR Sport, the Agya GR Sport (also known as the Wigo in the Philippines), the Avanza Veloz GR Limited, and the Yaris GR Sport. The latter is way different from the GR Yaris that I drove before, and essentially is the gnarlier version of the Vios-based Yaris sold in the ASEAN market. All of these cars come with body kits and more aggressive styling.

Photo from Toyota Indonesia

Other GR-S variants that are yet to arrive in the Philippines include the Land Cruiser GR Sport, Raize GR Sport, Corolla Altis GR Sport, Camry GR Sport, Hilux GR Sport, and the C-HR GR Sport.

Diluting the nameplate

Toyota is obviously diluting its lineup with GR cars, particularly the GR-S badged models that serve as range-toppers instead of separate model offerings. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this marketing strategy from the automaker. In fact, there are as many TRD-badged cars in the market, maybe even more than the current GR lineup offers.

With that said, expect the GR branding to stay and effectively replace the retiring TRD brand. Expect GR branded accessories as well, which are available in a few markets including the company’s home country in Japan.

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