Toyota serious about its GRouCHeR
As predicted late last year, Toyota has confirmed that its Gazoo Racing division is to build an angry version of the C-HR compact crossover.
With the rather inelegant name of GR C-HR, aka GRouCHeR, the hotted up SUV should dot down before 2023. Whether or not it is based on the bones of the current car, which has just undergone a facelift, or it debuts second-generation C-HR technology, due late next year, is unclear.
The decision to hot up a crossover might not fit with everyone’s idea of a sports performance vehicle but it will give the company a competitor in an increasingly busy part of the market. Volkswagen has recently released its 220kW T-Roc R while Hyundai’s hotshoe division is readying a Kona N crossover for the market and Ford is said to be tweaking its new Puma for ST status.
It’s most likely that the GR C-HR will share the GR Yaris’ turbocharged 1.6-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, only in a detuned state. Gazoo’s engineers have always said the tweaked engine will be used elsewhere to help defray development costs. The GR C-HR will use Toyota’s TNGA underpinnings, with judicious upgrades to dampers and brakes, and lightweight forged alloys.