Another sporty small SUV has been unveiled, this time from Toyota and with tweaks underneath the skin to make it grip better, but likely to remain offshore.

TOYOTA HAS UNVEILED its first sporty C-HR variant, the GR Sport, tweaked by Toyota’s new Gazoo Racing performance sub-brand.

The third GR Sport to arrive in Toyota’s lineup after the Corolla and Hilux (Brazil) GR Sport models, the small SUV version has been shown in Japan, but is unlikely to arrive in Australia.

Previously, a Toyota spokesperson told Practical Motoring: “Our primary focus for the introduction of any GR branded model upgrade, so not a standalone GR product like a Supra, is for it to have a substantial performance improvement over the base vehicle. At this stage we would require further study to evaluate the performance upgrades on this vehicle (2019 TRD Camry) before we make any decisions to introduce this package to Australia.”

Despite the C-HR GR Sport not having “substantial performance improvement,” it does bring plenty of tweaks, including sportier handling.

In Japan, the model will come with the choice of either 1.2-litre turbo petrol with six-speed transmission or 1.8-litre petrol-electric hybrid with CVT, as seen in the Toyota Corolla hybrid and going on-sale in Australia later this year. The Japanese C-HR misses out on the more powerful 2.0-litre motor altogether.

Outputs for the engine remain unchanged, but there are quad exhaust tips on the back of GR Sport models. They also come with larger 19-inch alloys with 225/45 rubber and a full bodykit.

Sharpening handling are strut braces front and rear, revised suspension settings, and re-calibrated steering response. The steering wheel also shrinks in diameter slightly too.

In all likelihood Australia will miss out on the sportier C-HR, with a Toyota Australia spokesperson telling PM not to rule it out but it remains off the table for now. Imminent for the brand locally is the facelifted C-HR and new hybrid variant, which will arrive locally December this year.


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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

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