Toyota has launched a sporty new sub-brand, GR series, and applied it to a range of Japanese-market models including the GT86 sports coupe – and the Prius PHEV GR Sport plug-in hybrid.
It’s thus created the first Prius ‘hot hatch’. Although the Prius GR Sport doesn’t have any more power, it does have sports-tuned suspension, additional structural bracing, a small-diameter steering wheel, aluminium pedals and, for the first time in a series Prius, an analogue rev counter (complete with GR logo).
The GR Sport is the second rung in Toyota’s new four-tier Gazoo Racing series of cars; all models come in white, with matching white brake calipers, wearing Gazoo grilles and umpteen GR logos.
Within, the seats feature more bolstering, there are yet more GR logos, unique styling features and silver upholstery stitching, and Toyota also fits a bespoke GR start switch.
The new GR series production cars build upon the established GR Parts range – which Toyota will also enhance with a new collection of GR Garages in Japan, which will “help cultivate an enthusiastic car culture”. Toyota’s planning to open 39 of them by the end of the fiscal year.
And if you like the idea of a hotter Prius plug-in, you may well be in luck: Toyota “plans to deploy the GR series outside of Japan”, starting with the upcoming Yaris GRMN tuned hot hatch. Will a Prius GR hot hatch follow? Watch this space…
New Toyota GR series
- Level 1: GR Parts
- Level 2: GR Sport
- Level 3: GR
- Level 4: GRMN