Toyota surprised the world two years ago with a Gazoo Racing-branded GT3 concept that was intended to race at Le Mans in the near future. A GT3 car has to be based on a road car, so the concept also suggested an ambitious future for performance Toyotas. Since then, the near-future timeline for a Toyota has now been stretched out to an expected 2026 debut for a Lexus, but an intriguing recent trademark suggests that a faster Gazoo Racing product may still be on the way.
Auto Guide uncovered a logo trademarked by Toyota with the European Union Intellectual Property Office last week that simply reads "GR GT." In the absence of any other details about the previous car, that would seem to be the perfect final name for a car that debuted as a "GR GT3" first, following the same naming convention used by Mercedes on their AMG GT road car and AMG GT3 race car. The concept's history with Lexus makes the situation more complicated.
An executive at Lexus told Road & Track in May 2022 that the GR GT3 concept "is going to be close" to the brand's next racer. Last year, a Toyota executive told Motorsport that "at the moment, [the car] seems to be" heading toward wearing a Lexus as both a road car and a race car. That decision seemed more certain than ever when the Lexus-branded IMSA GT program won its championship last year and the company's aging RC F GT3 racer joined the FIA World Endurance Championship grid.
If the road car is a Lexus, could it be the first Lexus to wear a Gazoo Racing badge? Top-level Lexus performance cars have been given the F designation since the late 2000s, but Lexus has not released a new full-on F performance car since the RC F debuted over a decade ago. The name Lexus GR GT does not exactly fit within the company's branding conventions, but the company dropped its traditional naming system for its last dedicated performance car anyway.
More likely, the GR GT badge is either being trademarked to be used as branding for something else or as an option to hold in case the company changes its mind on how it plans to market the road car. No matter the case, a Toyota or Lexus GT3 car is already testing ahead of a mid-decade debut and a new Toyota or Lexus performance road car of some sort should debut alongside it in the near future.
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