In spite of throwing out the possibility of a fully-fledged GR model happening soon, a new patent application for said moniker in Australia has seemingly confirmed that Toyota is indeed working on a rival for the Ford Ranger Raptor.
Last month, the automaker’s Vice-President for Sales and Marketing Down Under, Sean Hanley, told caradvice.com.au that a replacement for the erstwhile Hilux TRD won’t be happening anytime soon despite high consumer demand.
“We are always keen to look at any GR product (but) of course we are in the hands of the GR company (in terms of) what will be developed. I think customers would be interested in it, I don’t know that we’re getting asked for it, to be honest. However, right now, we don’t have that on the radar”, he said at a time.
Subsequently, carsguide.com.au reports that Toyota has submitted the designation “GR Hilux” to Australia’s Intellectual Property Office for approval, which will reportedly be subjected for final consideration on 20 January.
In a statement to the publication regarding the application however, Toyota Australia reaffirmed that there “are definitely no plans to introduce a GR Hilux at this stage, but as always, it is something that we would definitely not rule out”.
“It is standard practice for our parent company to reserve vehicle names that could potentially be used in future, as a means of protecting that name for future use. This is done in all key markets as a matter of course,” the statement read.
The speculation surrounding the GR comes after Toyota ended sales of the 2.8 GD-6 diesel-powered Hilux GR Sport in South America two months ago in favour of the 175 kW 4.0-litre V6 motor that Toyota Australia discontinued three years ago, but which remains available in South Africa.