Skip advert
Advertisement

Toyota Mark X GRMN headlines stars of Tokyo Auto Salon

Back-to-basics sports saloon is right up our street, but it won’t be coming here

Take a moment to read these specifications for a small sports saloon - rear-wheel drive, a 313bhp 3.5-litre naturally aspirated V6, limited slip differential and and a six-speed manual gearbox. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Could be something from the 90s; probably German; and cylinder layout aside, something from Munich perhaps? It’s not though - it’s a Toyota.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Toyota has quietly been selling wonderfully focused and unpretentious sports cars in the Japanese domestic market for years, almost completely unknown to those not into the Japanese car scene. The Mark X GRMN you see here is one such car, and just the first of a myriad of fascinating models to have featured at this year’s Tokyo auto salon. 

> Click here to read about our favourite forbidden performance cars

This generation of Toyota Mark X has been on sale for the best part of 15 years now, arriving in 2004 and always offering a relatively small rear-drive sports saloon package with four- and six-cylinder engines.

This new GRMN model rekindles the sportiest type of Mark X, which last appeared in Gazoo Racing guise around four years ago. As mentioned above, the GRMN includes a 3.5-litre naturally-aspirated V6 which has been seen over here in various Lotus Elise, Exige and Evora models. The engine itself is a relatively mudane unit at its core, powering countless versions of American-market Camrys and Highlander SUVs. Here though, some good old fashioned modifications to the exhaust and induction systems have liberated not only a few more bhps, but also a more characterful side to the supermarket motor.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The Mark X GRMN also features an optional carbonfibre roof, revised springs and dampers, forged 19-inch alloy wheels and a raft of aggressive styling touches. Production is limited to 350 units, but is still out of reach for the UK anyway. But the GRMN Mark X wasn’t the only offering at this year’s show, as below is a brief rundown of what else Toyota brought to the show.

Century GRMN

 

Toyota boss Akio Toyoda is known for many things. Revitalising the Supra is one, re-establishing the importance of handling for the rest of its range another. Oh, and for dabbling in a bit of motorsport himself. So it’s no surprise to find he drives a rather special company car, in this case a one-off GRMN version of the Toyota Century, an eye-wateringly expensive, rare and fascinating luxury saloon designed and built specifically for the Japanese gentry. Or it was a one-off til Toyota revealed a second GRMN Century, this time in grey and not the usual pearl white.

Toyota Gazoo Racing Supra Super GT500

The new Supra is only days away, but Toyota Gazoo Racing decided to launch the racing version anyway, hitting the track in Japan’s Super GT Championship in 2020. Taking advantage of its smaller shell and lower centre of gravity, the he Supra will replace the current Lexus LC Coupe Super GT racing car which has competed since 2017. Like all Super GT racers, the new Supra will feature a 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, as opposed to the road-going Supra’s 3-litre straight-six. Keep an eye out in the next few days though, and you’ll finally see the road-going Supra for real.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Toyota GT86 v GR86: how Toyota perfected the affordable sports car
Toyota GT86 v GR86 – front
Group tests

Toyota GT86 v GR86: how Toyota perfected the affordable sports car

The GT86 bucked all the usual sports car trends in 2012, then the GR86 honed that recipe to perfection
3 Apr 2024
Toyota 222D – dead on arrival
Toyota 222D
Features

Toyota 222D – dead on arrival

This 750bhp rallying MR2 could have seen Toyota conquer the stages, but instead fate intervened
21 Mar 2024
Toyota’s GR division hasn’t given up on combustion engines just yet
Toyota GR86
News

Toyota’s GR division hasn’t given up on combustion engines just yet

Toyota’s Gazoo Racing division will continue to investigate hydrogen-fuelled engines for road-going performance cars, as well as developing pure elect…
3 Dec 2023
Toyota's FT-Se sports car could make production
Toyota FT-Se sports car concept
News

Toyota's FT-Se sports car could make production

Pure-electric GR-badged two-seater is a concept for now – but a production version hasn’t been ruled out
3 Dec 2023
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

BMW i4 eDrive35 review: does less equal more?
BMW i4 eDrive35 – front
Reviews

BMW i4 eDrive35 review: does less equal more?

BMW’s cheapest i4 gets a smaller battery, less power and a £50,755 price tag – is it a worthy alternative to a Polestar 2?
12 Apr 2024
BMW M5 (F90) Fast Fleet test – 9 months with the 592bhp four-door
evo Fast Fleet BMW M5 F90
Long term tests

BMW M5 (F90) Fast Fleet test – 9 months with the 592bhp four-door

It may have been faster, more powerful and more complex that any M5 before, but the 592bhp F90 also managed to channel the spirit of some of its more …
12 Apr 2024
Used car deals of the week
Main used car deals
Advice

Used car deals of the week

In this week's used car deals, we've sourced everything from a Mk1 Ford Focus RS to a Porsche Taycan
12 Apr 2024