Toyota trademark hints at high-performance hero

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A new trademark filing from Toyota has cast doubt the upcoming supercar from Lexus will wear a luxury badge.


Toyota has applied for a new trademark for the name ‘GR GT’ – suggesting the upcoming successor to the Lexus LFA supercar may be branded as a Toyota after all.

Uncovered this week by Autoguide, the GR GT name could be related to the GR GT3 Concept race-car shown off by Toyota almost exactly two years ago – touted as a motorsports-only racing car, but one which would need a road-going version to be eligible for GT3 racing.

It was previously thought the final version of the GR GT3 concept – in road and race forms – would be known as a Lexus, based on comments made by multiple Toyota executives.

However, the latest trademark filing re-opens the door to Toyota badging, as the flagship of the company’s performance-car line-up.

In June 2022, Drive commissioned digital illustrations from artist Theottle of a production version of what such a car could look like (top) – which we coincidentally dubbed the GR GT.

As previously reported, the name could be a throw-back to the company’s first serious sports car – the Toyota 2000GT, which was also a coupe with a long bonnet, a sloped rear-end, in-set headlights, and a triangular point in the rear quarter glass.

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Toyota’s GR GT3 Concept.

Weeks after it was unveiled, Car and Driver reported the GT3 Concept would replace the RC F within the GT3 category, and adopt a Lexus badge.

“It’s fairly safe to connect the dots and suggest that that could be a precursor to the next global GT3 car for Lexus,” Toyota Racing Development President David Wilson said at the time.

Regulations for the GT3 category mandate that at least 30 road-legal examples are built within the first two years of the racing car initially competing.

In June 2022, industry analyst Robby DeGraff reported on X (formerly Twitter) directly from a Toyota briefing, confirming the GR GT3 Concept had “been given the green light for development”.

And in mid-2023, when asked if the road- or race-ready GR GT3 would wear Lexus badges, Rob Leupen – boss of Toyota’s World Endurance Championship racing team – said: “At the moment, it seems to be. It depends on how it develops within Toyota, but at the moment, yes.”

Given the GR GT3 has been filmed testing in race-ready form with petrol power, it is expected the road-going version will also eschew electric propulsion.

Reports out of Japan have suggested the car will be known as the Lexus LFR – and combine a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V8 with an electric motor for close to 1000 horsepower (about 750kW).

It is expected to be distinct from a mid-2022 report by Japanese publication Best Car, which claimed Toyota was working on a battery-powered coupe from Gazoo Racing alongside Mazda – with as much as 368kW (500 horsepower) quoted.

It’s worth noting Toyota’s TS050 LMP1 endurance racing car also used a 368kW electric motor.

The Toyota GR GT3 Concept happens to share a strikingly similar silhouette with the Mazda RX-Vision GT3 Concept of 2015.

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Just days ago, Mazda announced it was forming a rotary engine development group, with hints it could be related to a rotary-powered sports car.

However, Mazda said the engine would be used as a generator to supply power to electric motors.

While many hard facts are being presented alongside unconfirmed reports related to the Toyota GR GT3 Concept, the latest trademark suggests the company is edging closer to revealing some kind of hero performance car.

Ben Zachariah is an experienced writer and motoring journalist from Melbourne, having worked in the automotive industry for more than two decades. Ben began writing professionally more than 15 years ago and was previously an interstate truck driver. He completed his MBA in Finance in early 2021 and is considered an expert on classic car investment.

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