Toyota has introduced its first GR Sport model for Australia with the announcement of the C-HR GR Sport, which is due to go on sale in late November.
Offering the sporty styling of full GR models such as the GR Supra and GR Yaris without any boost in performance, the C-HR GR Sport will be the first of a raft of GR inspired cars for the expanding sub-brand.
“When we launched our GR performance brand last year with the GR Supra, Toyota hadn’t had a serious high-performance sports car in its lineup for 17 years, but together with the new GR Yaris that arrives next month, we are well and truly back on the performance track,” Mr Hanley said.
“Now with the imminent arrival of the first GR Sport model, we are extending the GR feeling to customers who may not want a high performance race-bred sports car, but still desire a car with sporty styling and a degree of performance modifications to set it apart from the standard Toyota lineup.
“The new C-HR GR Sport is exactly that, offering customers greater driving enjoyment and bold purposeful styling that deliver the exhilarating feeling at the heart of all GR products.
“And just like the dedicated GR sports cars, the performance-enhanced GR Sport models like the new C-HR GR Sport, are inspired by the lessons and technology derived from Toyota’s championship-winning motorsports program,” he said.
Based on the entry-level C-HR GXL 2WD, the GR Sport features a number of styling tweaks to distinguish it from the regular C-HR, including a GR Yaris-inspired front bumper, 19-inch alloy wheels shod with low-profile tyres and GR Sport badging.
Inside, the cabin has been upgraded with unique trim inlays, a sports steering wheel, GR-branded instruments and leather-accented sports seats.
Matching the sportier looks is a set of uprated suspension, which Toyota claims is “tuned for sporty driving”.
While it might be based on the petrol-powered GXL 2WD, the GR Sport is propelled by the hybrid engine from the Koba hybrid flagship, combining a 1.8-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine with an electric motor for a combined output of 90kW.
And like the Koba hybrid, the powertrain is mated with a CVT automatic – the only transmission option for Australia.
The C-HR GR Sport will be available in eight colours, with Crystal Pearl, Hornet Yellow and Feverish Red available with a contrasting black roof.
Update: The Toyota C-HR GR Sport is priced from $37,665 plus on-road costs, with the black roof costing an additional $450.