TOKYO: Toyota has been slowly trying to shed its reputation for dullness since launching the 86 sports coupe in 2012, and with a revival of the Supra on the horizon things are looking up for fans of the brand.
But what about a fast sedan? Toyota seems content to leave that turf to its luxury subsidiary Lexus – which will reveal its long-awaited GS F in Detroit next month – but the Japanese automaker will be launching a sporty four-door of its own soon.
Due to make its debut at the Tokyo Auto Salon on January 9, the Toyota Mark X GRMN is a special-edition model that mates the 236kW/380Nm 3.5 litre V6 of a Lexus IS 350 with a six-speed manual transmission and a rear-drive chassis.
While the Mark X (which is only sold in Japan and China) is normally only available as an automatic, the boffins at Toyota-affiliated race outfit GRMN have found a way to equip it with a traditional three-pedal manual.
They’ve also equipped it with a Torsen limited slip differential and a carbon-fibre roof, along with 19-inch alloy wheels, a model-specific bodykit and a performance-tuned suspension and brake package.
Only 100 cars will be built and with a price tag of 5.4 million Yen (just over AU$55,000) it’s not exactly cheap, but as a RWD performance sedan with a proper manual transmission and a Toyota badge on the bootlid, the Mark X GRMN is a rare bird indeed.