GR! As in Gazoo Racing, I wasn’t growling just then. But the motorsport arm of Toyota has given us cause to do precisely that for at least three reasons this morning. Here they are in no particular order.
1. Dakar Champions
And it’s hard not to feel patriotic here, but Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa’s Dakar efforts cannot be glanced over here. Nasser Al-Attiyah and copilot Mathieu Baumel took their second Dakar victory in this year’s race. Bloody marvellous. They did so in their new GR DKR Hilux T1+, powered by a 3.5l twin-turbo V6 sourced from the Land Cruiser 300 GR. Another masterful finish by local hero Giniel De Villiers and co-driver Dennis Murphy in fifth place, despite some bad luck on stage 7. Sterkte.
2. Toyota GRMN Yaris
We knew this would come on the heels of the GR Yaris. The GRMN represents that car, but dialed up to eleven. It’s a top tier racing machine and production car – lighter and lower and fiercer than the GR. Four-wheel drive and ferocious, and yours in Circuit or Rally packages. Whichever spec you opt for, you’ll have access to 200kW and 390Nm which remains miraculous for a three-cylinder 1.6l, albeit turbo charged. Grrr, indeed.
3. Toyota GR GT3 Concept
Think of it as Toyota’s solution on wheels for customer racers who participate in GT3 racing. That it’s breathtakingly gorgeous is a hell of a bonus.