Toyota Wants Performance SUVs

29 May 2024 BY Jean-Sébastien Poudrier

Performance has long been associated with automobiles, but today we see a range of sporty models in both SUVs and trucks. Toyota, on its part, offers the TRD lineup, which certainly brings technical improvements, but these focus on off-road driving. Consequently, there are no true performance SUVs in Toyota's lineup, a situation the Japanese manufacturer intends to address.

 

Toyota is seriously considering leveraging the expertise of its Gazoo Racing division for some of its SUVs. While no specific models have been mentioned yet, a look at the competition suggests that SUVs like the Corolla Cross, the Rav4, or even the Land Cruiser could become very popular with more power under the hood.

 

The Next Step

 

In an interview with an Australian magazine, the head of the GR division, Tomoya Takahashi, mentioned that "adding a performance SUV to Toyota's lineup was a necessity."

 

Just a few years ago, Toyota was a rather boring brand. The arrival of new models with bolder designs and the support from the TRD division have helped the Japanese manufacturer forge a new image. The brand also offers several performance models, including the legendary fifth-generation Supra and the 86, a remarkably popular small car. What Toyota's lineup is missing is a performance SUV, and it's fair to believe there will be several.

 

GR Packages

 

Although some fear that this might diminish the value of the sports division, it is highly likely that Gazoo Racing will put its badge on enhanced versions without necessarily offering high-level performance, similar to Audi's S-Line or Hyundai's N-Line. However, this is just a rumor for now.

 

In any case, it's clear that things are moving in the GR division, which is likely to gain more momentum in the coming years, and this is excellent news for performance enthusiasts. Toyota has a rich heritage in performance, and I'm sure I'm not the only one pleased to see the manufacturer finally decide to tap into this potential.

 

Jean-Sébastien Poudrier