Toyota’s recently announced Gazoo Racing (GR) model series is set to include a dedicated sports car platform, apart from beefed-up versions of the regular models.
So far, the GR series is a Japan-only affair but Toyota will soon expand its availability to other regions as well, including Europe but not North America. The company’s executives decided that Gazoo-tuned models destined for North America will be offered under the already established TRD (Toyota Racing Development) brand, AutoNews reports.
The same report goes on saying that U.S. executives of the brand don’t like the sound of the Gazoo name as it has no obvious tie-ins with Toyota in the region and remind them of a green alien cartoon character from the Flintstones.
Shigeki Tomoyama, president of Gazoo Racing confirmed that the GR treatment will be applied to future TRD models in North America, with a dedicated sports car platform also on its way.
"We are taking the challenge of adopting new tastes created in this process to stock cars as much as possible," Tomoyama said. "In its next phase, we will get a designated sports car platform and eventually -finally- we want to introduce a pure, genuine sports car, which can compete against top-class world competitors."
The new platform could be the base of the reportedly confirmed spiritual successor of the MR2 roadster which will sit between the GT86 and the upcoming new Supra. As for the latter, Toyota could pull the covers off the new Supra as soon as next month’s Tokyo Motor Show.