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Toyota, Motorsports and the Spirit of Fun-To-Drive

Jul 27, 2022

Quality, reliability and durability may be the things that quickly come to mind when you think of Toyota. It’s high time to add fun-to-drive to that list. In fact, with a presence in motorsports – and a legacy of success – dating back more than 60 years, Toyota has been just as focused on building-in track-bred performance as it has on building-in quality. More on that in a minute. First, let’s dive in to what makes a vehicle fun-to-drive in the first place.

Toyota GR Lineup & Models

The Meaning of Fun-to-Drive

Ask ten different people what fun-to-drive means to them, and you’ll probably get ten different answers. Everything from horsepower to how it handles the curves to how it looks just sitting in the driveway. And they would all be right. Ultimately, what is fun-to-drive is how a vehicle makes you feel.

For Toyota, fun-to-drive is about emotional engagement. Designing and engineering vehicles that stir the senses and make you feel intimately connected and in total control. That comes from things like how fast a vehicle is off the mark, how precisely it responds to your driving inputs, and the feedback you get from the road.

Those in turn, rely on the interplay between a number of factors and forces. For example: vehicle weight, front-to-rear balance, centre of gravity, chassis stiffness, suspension set-up, and power-to-weight ratio.

All of this just scratches the surface of what goes into making a Toyota fun-to-drive. While it starts with engineers and drawing boards, it’s put to the test, honed, and perfected in the heat of competition.

Toyota WEC Le Mans 2022

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (GR)

TGR Toyota Gazoo Racing

Motorsports have played a role in Toyota’s vehicle development almost since the beginning. Using racing to push vehicle performance to the limit and forging new technologies and solutions under the most extreme conditions.

Today, that mission is carried by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (GR), Toyota’s global racing arm. Since 2007, TOYOTA GR has become one of the most dominant forces across global motorsports, including wins at the legendary Dakar Rally, the 24 Hours of Le Mans & World Endurance Championship, and the World Rally Championship (WRC).

Birth of the TOYOTA GR Line

When it comes to engineering vehicles that require cars and drivers to act as one in a lightening quick fashion, there is nothing like the World Rally Championship (WRC). Toyota returned to the WRC in 2017, after an 18-year absence, led by the Toyota Yaris WRC, designed and developed by TOYOTA GR. The vehicle was an immediate winner right out of the starting blocks, both on the podium and with the public.

Beyond taking learnings from the track and applying them to everyday vehicles – of every kind – the idea was always to follow through with a line of TOYOTA GR sports cars. Track ready but street-legal. Developed with input from TOYOTA GR designers and engineers. Tested over and over again to ensure they deliver a driver-centric experience. From chills at start-up to thrills at every twist and turn. To date, two have made the grade, with a third set to launch.

GR Supra

GR Supra Performance & Design
The launch of GR Supra in 2019 for North America marked the return of a legendary nameplate and a new chapter in fun-to-drive Toyota sports cars. Boasting exceptional aerodynamics, a low centre of gravity, and almost perfect front-to-rear weight distribution, GR Supra delivers breathtaking acceleration and exhilarating handling dynamics. For 2022, GR Supra added a 255HP 2.0L twin-scroll single turbo engine to go alongside the original 382HP 3.0L powerplant.

GR86

2022 GR86 Horsepower & Handling
Channelling the spirit of the famed AE86, the 2017 Toyota 86 was designed as an affordable 2+2 sports coupe and won an immediate following. To earn its GR badge, the Toyota 86 was rebuilt from the ground up to become the Toyota GR86. With its lower centre of gravity, longer wheelbase, stiffer chassis, larger engine, superb power-to-weight ratio, and a race-inspired interior, the new GR86 takes fun-to-drive to a whole new level.

GR Corolla

All-New 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Sports Hatchback
Coming soon, GR Corolla is the street-legal hot hatch that rally fans and tuner fans alike have been clamouring for. Powered by a revolutionary 3-cylinder turbo engine, boasting an innovative front-to-rear all-wheel-drive system, along with a truly driver-focused cockpit, GR Corolla is ready to set hearts racing and pulses pounding. Beyond its obvious track credentials, innovative GR-FOUR AWD powertrain, and ample cargo room, with 300 horsepower, it also promises to be one fun-to-drive everyday sports car.

Of course, fun to drive isn’t limited to the GR line. A focus on creating that emotional engagement between driver and vehicle can be seen across the Toyota lineup. From vehicles like Camry TRD to Tacoma TRD Pro, with fun-to-drive attributes tailored to each specific vehicle’s segment and role. Of course, at the end of the day, what is fun to drive is up to you. If it brings a smile to your face as you go about your day, that is really what it is all about. Take a moment to explore the Toyota lineup and find the fun-to-drive ride that you’ve been looking for.