At the Tokyo Autosalon, Toyota knows how to draw attention to itself with three different GR concepts. The bZ4X GR Sport and the Yaris GR MN are two sporty models from well-known names. The third concept, however, is a lot more mysterious, the Toyota GR GT3 Concept. Despite the matte black color, this low long GT3 racer is a striking appearance as it does not resemble a well-known Toyota model. There may be a reason behind this, because it reminds us strikingly of another Japanese concept model, the Mazda RX-Vision. Could it be that Toyota and Mazda co-developed the Mazda RX-9?
The Toyota version of the Mazda RX-9?
For starters, the focus should first be on the Toyota GR GT3 Concept. Toyota Gazoo Racing developed this aggressive looking racer for the GT3 championship. However, unlike other manufacturers, it developed the race car first and then produced the production car. So there are several copies on the road in limited edition. The striking thing about this is that the GR GT3 concept has no recognizable characteristics of other Toyota models. While the shape is sporty with the cockpit positioned in the back, it doesn’t resemble a Toyota Supra. What the model does resemble is a concept car that made its debut in 2015, the Mazda RX-Vision.
Developing a new model is no longer as self-evident as it used to be. The costs are higher due to different safety and emission requirements. Developing a model together and sharing the costs is therefore becoming more common. Toyota is probably the most active brand in this of all. The partnership is currently underway with BMW, Subaru, half a dozen Suzukis and yes, Mazda. The idiosyncratic brand from Hiroshima can no longer afford to develop the Mazda 2 itself and opts for a rebadged Toyota Yaris Hybrid.
The promise of sporty Mazdas
For several years now, Mazda has had sporty handling and safety as its main characteristics. With the Mazda 6 concept from 2020, the speculation of rear-wheel drive has also been added. The new sedan from Mazda would thus follow in the footsteps of the Alfa Romeo Giulia. An opposite direction from BMW, which recently started focusing more on front-wheel and four-wheel drive. This too can be seen as a hint that the Toyota GR GT3 and the Mazda RX-9 share the same base. Where the Toyota Supra would not exist without the help of BMW, Mazda is probably a better partner for the next model.
Rumor has it that the Mazda 6 and a production version of the RX-Vision should both be released in 2022. The idea that both models both come with rear-wheel drive is not so strange. After all, why would you, as a small brand, only use this powertrain for one model? To divide the costs of this over several models already saves costs. However, this is not enough for Mazda to monetize the high cost of a new platform. It is therefore a logical choice to share the costs of this, for example with Toyota.
The facts at a glance
Okay, maybe you’re not quite convinced yet. That is possible, after all, the concept model of the Mazda RX-Vision is already from 2015 and does not resemble the Toyota GR GT3 1 on 1. However, concept cars can still undergo a massive metamorphosis. Just look at the 2007 Honda NSX concept and the 2012 Honda NSX concept, a big difference right?
What the RX-Vision and the GR GT3 do have in common is the following;
– Both rear-wheel drive
– Wheelbase and cockpit placement
– An existing connection of collaboration between both brands
– A history of cost sharing on a project
– Sportiness as a trademark of the brand
Time will tell if this prediction is correct, or as wrong as our Mustang Mach-E 1400 Pikes Peak. But what do you think? Let us know by commenting on this article.
Is the Toyota GR GT3 also the new Mazda RX-9?
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