It looks like there’s something in the water at Toyota, as the company follows the success of its acclaimed GT86, with a wide range of sporting concepts and racers – all suggesting that the company is serious about creating a new, younger, more exciting image.
The company is clearly keen to demonstrate that there are no barriers when it comes to customisation with a no-holds-barred sporting display at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon – the cars range from a Yaris to the Lexus LFA. Its impressive line-up of 10 cars includes:
- Two racing concepts from GRMN based on Yaris and GT86
- G Sports concepts developed from the Aqua hybrid hatchback and Mark X saloon
- Four GT86 concepts, from Cb, Modellista, TRD and TOM’S
- Gazoo Racing LFA and GT86, both confirmed as entries for the 2013 Nürburgring 24 Hours
GRMN Yaris Turbo Concept
GRMN, Gazoo Racing’s customisation and tuning arm, is showing its new Yaris Turbo Concept, a race-fettled version based on a three-door Australian-spec’ model (known as a Vitz in Far Eastern markets). It’s powered by a turbocharged 1.5-litre engine driving the front wheels that produces 148bhp/110kW and 205Nm of torque.
The aluminium wheels, sports seats and pedals and modified rear bumper, headlights and rear clusters are visual clues to its racing character, but it’s under the skin where most of the work has been done. Tuned suspension, uprated disc brakes and a more powerful drivetrain have been added and the bodyshell has been strengthened for track driving.
GRMN is also unveiling its Sports FR Concept Platinum, a turbocharged and supercharged concept based on GT86 (see below).
Aqua G Sports
Proving that hybrid technology is no barrier to creating eye-popping custom concepts, G Sports is showing is new take on Aqua – a compact, Prius-based hatchback that has quickly become one of Japan’s best-selling cars since its launch last year.
While it retains its standard full hybrid powertrain, G Sports’ concept gains sports styling inside and out, plus re-tuned suspension and body reinforcing braces to strengthen its sporting character and handling.
Another G Sports special lined up for the show is its sporting interpretation of the Japanese market’s Marx X saloon, complete with a lightweight carbon fibre roof (see below).
The road-going GT86 in its standard form has attracted worldwide praise for its sporting looks and character, but it is only the start for some of the customisation world’s top design houses who have produced exciting new concepts based on Toyota’s coupe – know simply as ‘86’ in Japan. Four will be taking the spotlight at the Tokyo Auto Salon:
86 x style Cb
Gazoo Racing’s Lexus LFA and GT86 complete the Toyota line-up at the show, appearing at the same time as the team confirms it will again be entering both cars in the Nürburgring 24 Hours this year – its seventh successive participation in the event since 2007.
Gazoo Racing’s Lexus LFA
Gazoo Racing’s GT86