Home / Social media / Cars / Gazoo Racing brought us the Yaris GR, Supra GR and Corolla GR, but who are they?


If you’re not in the car world, a name like Gazoo Racing sounds like any old tuner shop with a name that people might remember. In actual fact Gazoo Racing is the official name of the motorsport / making fast division of Toyota. Old school fans of the brand will remember TRD as the company doing this, or Toyota Racing Developments if you go for the long version. The company was responsible for a host of special edition cars sold to the public, but it was in actual competitive motorsports that it made a name for itself. But as with most things, there’s an end, but the end of TRD didn’t mean Toyota wasn’t interested in going fast anymore, it just meant that new things were coming - Gazoo Racing. It was started way back in 2007 by a team of student mechanics and test drivers as a sort of works race team. During a Nürburgring 24 hour race when Akio Toyoda was still the company Vice President, he wasn’t allowed to refer to the team as the Works Racing Toyota and so he created the name Gazoo Racing which is derived from the word ‘garage’. This is because a garage is where great minds and people get together to make cars better and faster.

A couple of years later when Akio Toyoda took the helm completely Gazoo Racing became more prevalent, showing off a Gazoo Racing Lexus LFA at Goodwood Festival of Speed and also by creating the Gazoo Racing Festival, a now annual event in November. The first Gazoo-related things the SXdrv crew saw here in SA was that mad little limited edition Toyota Yaris GRMN that featured a powerful 1.8-litre supercharged 4-pot, a rapid little car, and also a sign of things to come. As you know by now, the all-new Toyota Supra was given the GR touch, which explains why the car is so good at everything it does. At the time Toyota fans were hoping for more things from the GR stable, and when the Yaris GR was announced with a puny 1.6-litre 3-cylinder lump people were a little sceptical. How could such a small engine wear the Gazoo Racing badge if the badge was meant to indicate the pinnacle of Toyota’s race engineering?
We all know how that went. The Yaris GR ended up being everything the company promised and more. Not only did the world’s motoring press sing its praises. The small capacity setup proved to only be the start with many aftermarket tuning houses getting around the 500 hp mark with an unopened engine. This is a 3-cylinder remember. With the Yaris being so good after its fiddling by GR, when the Corolla info was released it again broke the internet. The new Corolla GR followed suit by being an absolutely amazing version of the model and it will no doubt go on to be another iconic Toyota revered for years to come. There’s plenty more to the brand, it’s history and where it’s headed, and for that kind of information we always look to James Pumphrey at Donut Media. His “Everything you need to know” series of YouTube videos is one of the best ways to catch up on all manner of motoring topics. One weekend of bingeing episodes will see someone with no knowledge about cars able to school long time car fans with proper facts and figures.

When things are informative with a dash of humour, we're all in! Donut Media is a definite favourite to follow. We recommend taking a look at all the different video series they produce.

Take a look at the YouTube video about the history of the now popular Gazoo Racing, the company tasked with making Toyotas fast, below: Toyota's New "GAZOO RACING" - Everything You Need to Know | Donut Media

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