MONTICELLO, N.Y. — The redesigned Toyota GR 86 serves a dual purpose in the company's North American strategy: Providing an affordable sport coupe to satisfy enthusiasts of the shrinking niche, and expanding the nascent Gazoo Racing brand to new nameplates.
For the second generation, the 86 name is dropped in favour of GR 86. The Supra is the other model for sale in the United States and Canada tagged with the GR badge (the GR Yaris is not for sale in either country).
In similar fashion to the Toyota TRD performance and off-roading brand's expansion across the automaker's model line, expect to see future Toyotas get the GR treatment — if they make the cut.
"In order to earn the GR badge, it needs to be motorsports inspired, and then also meet the standard of our GR team in Japan," Mike Tripp, vice president of vehicle marketing and communications at Toyota North America, said at a media GR 86 driving event here. "So when you look at expansion, ... the question becomes what other sports cars could earn the GR badge. As we look at our vehicle lineup looking forward, that's what will make the determination."
Toyota did not specify which models are in line for a GR version.