Hulloo from Gazoo

Toyota is undoubtedly one of the most renowned brands in the world mainly with its relatively affordable mass-market vehicles such as the Corolla. The formula just works for the Japanese automaker as it continues to be at the top of the game, including in the Philippines where it sits comfortably at the number one spot in the sales ranking.

Despite the impressive sales performance, Toyota Motor Philippines doesn’t want to be complacent in competing in the local market. In fact, to further improve the versatility of TMP’s lineup, the company has been introducing Gazoo Racing model editions to Filipinos since 2019.

Toyota cars with the GR badge boast a sportier appearance, with some coming with tweaks in the performance department for a more thrilling driving experience. After all, GR is Toyota’s official motorsport/performance division that is responsible for delivering sporty vehicles to both its production lines and various race series.

UNDER its hood, it still sports the same engine as the other lower tier models.

For a short background, GR started in 2007 when Toyota didn’t even recognize the team as its own. But a guy named Hiromu Naruse relentlessly pushed his enthusiasm for racing into the brand. If it wasn’t for his efforts, the automaker would’ve probably either had a different performance division or felt uninspired to join the high-performance market.

Locally, you have two series to choose from, namely the GR and GR-S (GR Sport). GR models are the ones developed by the division from the ground up, offering high-performance-oriented setups. Included in the local lineup are the Toyota GR86, GR Supra, and GR Yaris. The GR Corolla is also part of the series but is not currently sold in the Philippines.

On the other hand, the GR-S series mainly aims to dress up Toyota models with a sportier look. TMP is offering the Vios, Corolla Altis, Rush, Raize, Corolla Cross, Fortuner and Hilux with a GR-S variant. But like what we said earlier, GR-S models may come with minor modifications to stimulate a more spirited driving experience.

SPORTY GR lineup is displayed at the recent 8th Philippine International Motor Show, including this bright red Toyota GR Supra and GR Yaris.



GR-S-themed interiors exude that sporty and more dynamic appeal.


START/stop button is likewise dressed for that sporty appeal.


INSTRUMENT panel also inspires the driver for that sportier drive.

One example is this sportier-looking Toyota Vios GR-S that the company lent to us for a week. It still has the same engine found in the Vios G but comes exclusive with a 10-speed CVT (automatic). This can give you more control of the car by changing the CVT ratio using either the paddle shifters (available only in the GR-S and G) or the transmission lever.

Some argue that Toyota should’ve added more performance tweaks so GR-S models can live up to their sporty badge. But of course, integrating these upgrades will increase the prices of the GR-S vehicles, which can be an issue in the sales department. You can instead check out the Toyotas under the GR series if you fancy a performance-oriented drive.

TMP recently showcased the three GR models available locally at the 8th Philippine International Motor Show, which happened from 15 to 18 September at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. It staged one of the first appearances of the all-new GR 86 to the Filipinos, coming with a strong sports car look and a more powerful engine.

To jumpstart your GR experience, you can have it at a fast-pace at the 2022 Gazoo Racing Vios Cup held at the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga. Our own Daily Tribune motoring editor, Ronald de los Reyes is part of the on-track action, recently finishing third in the second leg of the race event’s Autocross Challenge Media Sporting Class. Don’t miss the third leg which is scheduled on 19 November.

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