New Toyota CEO Koji Sato hinted over the weekend that sports cars will still be important to the Japanese brand.

Akio Toyoda, grandson of the company's founder, championed racing and rally during his 14-year tenure as CEO. Some feared Sato, who took over in January, would forego performance cars to focus on developing Toyota's electric vehicle shift. But that doesn't seem to be the case.

"The Gazoo brand will be acknowledged for the future—and maybe we can even speed it up," Sato told Autocar. "Our Master Driver (Toyoda) was also president of the company at the same time as he had a steering wheel in his hand for Gazoo. Now he is only chairman maybe he will have a lot more time to develop cars for them?”

While Toyoda is no longer CEO, the 66-year old "Master Driver" still retains his position as chairman of the board of directors, meaning he still has influence.

Toyota currently sells three performance-oriented GR-branded models in the U.S.: The GR86, GR Supra, and GR Corolla (there's also the GR Yaris, but that's not here, much to our dismay). While the company has been mum on future plans for the segment, it showed a small two-seater sports car (above) in 2021. It's also bolstered hydrogen as a solution to keep sporty combustion cars around.

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2023-05-01T13:36:08Z dg43tfdfdgfd