Toyota will launch a one-make race series built around its GR86 sports car in the United States in 2023.
The automaker plans to release more details over the summer, but has confirmed a new series as the GR Cup. The GR is the acronym for Toyota’s Gazoo Racing motorsport department, and the GR Cup will run the Toyota Gazoo Racing North America.
Toyota has also confirmed that there will be seven rounds in the opening season, all of which could potentially open in other regions of the similar series in the US if the US-based GR Cup proves popular.
Several automakers currently offer one-make race races, although these are from foreign brands such as Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche. As a result, entry costs tend to be steep.
2023 Toyota GR86 GR Cup Race Car Teaser
Priced at 22 28,695 for the 2022 GR86 with destination, the cost of entering the GR Cup is likely to be more affordable than anything like the Ferrari Challenge or the Lamborghini Super Trofeo. This should make it a popular way for up-and-coming drivers to improve their skills before tackling the more challenging series.
The rear-wheel-drive GR86 is powered by a 2.4-liter inline-4 rated 228 hp and 184 pound-feet of torque. Toyota quotes 0-60 miles per hour of 6.1 seconds with manual and automatically 6.6 seconds. Although race cars running in the GR Cup will not be fully stocked. A teaser shot shows the race car with a roll cage and a carbon-fiber rear wing.
Toyota says the series will enable its engineers to test the GR86’s performance when pushed to the limit, and lessons learned from the program will benefit the automaker in developing future sports cars.
The news comes just as Toyota adds a new model to its growing GR lineup in the form of the 2023 GR Corolla. The Hot Hatch combines 300 hp, a 6-speed manual and all-wheel drive, and is expected to go on sale later this year.