We know Toyota is working on a new, bespoke GT3 racer. We’ve seen a concept version. We’ve seen videos of the real, disguised car testing. We’ve seen mysterious, leaked patent drawings of a possible road version.
Now, we might have a name for that road car, as Toyota has trademarked the name ‘GR GT’ with the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office, along with an associated logo.
If this is what the long-rumoured car is called, it comes as no huge surprise. GR, of course, stands for Gazoo Racing, Toyota’s in-house performance brand and racing outfit. It’s a badge we’re very familiar with from the GR Supra, GR Yaris and GR86.
In fact, the concept version of the race car, which was revealed back in early 2022, was called the GR GT3, so it’s not a huge leap for the road car to simply lose the ‘3’. Things aren’t quite that simple, though.
The other big bit of evidence for the road car’s existence is the aforementioned patent images, which leaked a few months after the reveal of the GR GT3 Concept, and clearly show that car, shorn of extra-racy bits like the rear wing. If they do represent a production car, then it’s a rather dramatic looking thing.
It has a long bonnet, a low roofline sweeping towards the rear of the car, and a general sense of meanness about it. Some of its design cues, including the vents which extend beneath the rear lights, are reminiscent of the Lexus LFA, leading to speculation it could be released under Lexus branding.
The GR badge hasn’t appeared on a Lexus road car so far, but Gazoo Racing has run Lexus race cars several times at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. Confusingly, the GR GT3 Concept has appeared with both Toyota and Lexus branding at different times.
Publicly, Toyota has said precious little about the rumours, save for one very important statement:
“As was the case with the GR Yaris, by commercialising motorsports cars rather than simply adapting production vehicles for use in motorsports, [Toyota Gazoo Racing] intends to use feedback and technologies refined through participation in various motorsports activities to develop both GT3 and mass-production cars and further promote making ever-better motorsports-bred cars.”
You see, GT3 rules stipulate the existence of a road car - you can’t just turn up with a prototype. Normally, manufacturers will base their GT racing contender on a current production car, but Toyota appears to be doing things the other way around, designing their GT3 competitor as a race car first and making the road car out of necessity, potentially giving us a proper homologation special in the process.
The race car is expected to debut in 2025 or 2026 in both the World Endurance Championship and the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in North America. What we still have no idea of is what might power it, although the engine note in the testing videos hints strongly at a turbocharged V8.
With the road car still unconfirmed but looking increasingly likely, let’s hope we see it at some point before the racer hits the track. It’s also worth remembering that Toyota has a bit of a habit of filing trademarks that set the rumour mill turning - last October, it re-registered ‘LFA’, and a year before that, it trademarked ‘LF-R’, which was floated as a possible name for a Lexus-badged version of the GR GT3. Whatever it ends up being called, we’re just glad to see Toyota’s continuing commitment to motorsport and exciting road cars.