RE: Return of the best Toyota you've never heard of

RE: Return of the best Toyota you've never heard of

Friday 11th January

Return of the best Toyota you've never heard of

Forget the Supra for a moment; the JDM-only Mark X GRMN is where it's really at...



Only this week we were bemoaning the lack of quick saloons now on sale, the availability of cars like the £2.5k Legacy 3.0 R perhaps the only silver lining. Toyota of all people seems keen to do something about it though, with the return of the 318hp, manual, V6, rear-wheel drive Mark X GRMN.

Return? Yes, this was a car Toyota originally sold to Japan 2014 - and subjected to a pleasingly skiddy promotional video. Presumably content with what they'd created but dissatisfied at being unable to reach enough people, Toyota has now launched (again) what appears to be exactly the same car. Bizarre.


Still, when the spec reads as this Mark X's does, it makes complete sense. Upset that the Supra isn't available from launch with a manual gearbox or a naturally aspirated engine? Try the GRMN saloon, which is only offered with a six-speed manual, and transmits 318hp from a 3.5-litre V6 - presumably the same one that honks along so sweetly in the senior Lotuses - to the rear wheels. Given how well it skids, you'd have to assume a limited-slip diff is lurking somewhere under the Mark X as well.

Marking the GRMN flagship out from the 350 RDS on which it's based are those lovely 19-inch forged BBS wheels, a few GRMN badges, a racier exhaust, a fairly meek rear diffuser/spoiler combo (all the better for the Q-car effect) and some GR-branded seats. More important but less visible tweaks include new dampers, retuned electric steering, a sports exhaust and the optional carbon roof, which saves 10kg and obviously reduces the CoG. The interior is even authentically Japanese minicab with some iffy carbon trim, though that's probably for the better for when flailing limbs clatter into it after another misjudged powerslide.


From here it's hard not to admire the Mark X GRMN quite a lot, its focus on a traditional rear-drive experience at the cost of fripperies like, y'know, style, being right up our street. Presumably it could be supercharged pretty easily as well, as in the Lotuses, for even greater oversteer potential - marvellous.

Unsurprisingly the Mark X GRMN will be a car sold only in Japan, limited to 350 units and priced at 5.13m Yen. Or about £37k at today's exchange rate, with another £2k required for the carbon roof. Of course no British buyer in their right mind would pay that much for a dowdy Japanese saloon with less torque than a BMW 330i, but rest assured Toyota; a few of us in the UK are very, very pleased indeed that the Mark X has been resurrected.


 

Author
Discussion

CharlieAlphaMike

Original Poster:

221 posts

42 months

Friday 11th January
quotequote all
Nice 'sleeper' thumbup

Krikkit

13,903 posts

118 months

Friday 11th January
quotequote all
I like that, even the styling!

As said, with a supercharger that could be tremendous.

st4

455 posts

70 months

Friday 11th January
quotequote all
I'd have that heart beat to replace my Lexus GS250. Looks superb. If Toyota UK are reading this please bring that here.

st4

455 posts

70 months

Friday 11th January
quotequote all
I'd also much rather drive this than any BMW or Mercedes. Toyota quality is second to none and having a slightly different car appeals massively.

cptsideways

12,930 posts

189 months

Friday 11th January
quotequote all
Have owned a few JDM X's 81's 90's & 100's, these have always been a tuners stealth weapon. Shame no JZX variants any more.



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MX6

3,896 posts

150 months

Friday 11th January
quotequote all
Interesting, I don't recall hearing of these before. Maybe not that surprising though as the look and name of the thing isn't particularly memorable. I like it though, there's something that's quite no-nonsence about it, a certain focus on the performance hardware aspect over excessive styling, something the Japanese have always been good at. For a big saloon the interior is a bit utilitarian, there doesn't seem to be too many bells and whistles.

gweaver

505 posts

95 months

Friday 11th January
quotequote all
Looks like a Japanese Commodore. I'd love an import of either.

rallycross

9,466 posts

174 months

Friday 11th January
quotequote all
Quite clearly that engine should have found its way into a GT86 at some point but sadly not (and yes I've driven a few 1,000 km in a GT'86 and was left un-impressed).

3795mpower

275 posts

67 months

Friday 11th January
quotequote all
Watched a classic BestMotoring battle last night with the Mark X in it.

Seems it was a slushbox challenge of 335i, A6, E350 and a Subaru.

I’d love it tell you the Mark X won but alas it barely avoided coming last
By just getting past the Merc E350.

I do give it kudos for existing right now in a 4 pot world though.

Coin Slot.

2,821 posts

100 months

Friday 11th January
quotequote all
CharlieAlphaMike said:
Nice 'sleeper' thumbup
This, very discrete, I like it a lot.

Chestrockwell

1,251 posts

94 months

Friday 11th January
quotequote all
rallycross said:
Quite clearly that engine should have found its way into a GT86 at some point but sadly not (and yes I've driven a few 1,000 km in a GT'86 and was left un-impressed).
I can’t imagine this engine being very fun/engaging, a car like the GT86 would suit a high revving Straight 6/Flat 6 much better, 370z on paper is a dream car but I read everywhere that the engine is more suited to a big saloon.

3795mpower

275 posts

67 months

Friday 11th January
quotequote all
I’m sure a manual would be more engaging, especially as clip was the era
Of only 6 ratios per auto box.... (pah only 6 ??!)

Good fun to watch.

https://youtu.be/buvKvXAGumk

BeirutTaxi

6,409 posts

151 months

Friday 11th January
quotequote all
I never understand why some people put JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) stickers in their car. Very odd behavior, May as well write the Japanese word 'Baka' on the windscreen.


QuattroDave

527 posts

65 months

Friday 11th January
quotequote all
BeirutTaxi said:
I never understand why some people put JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) stickers in their car. Very odd behavior, May as well write the Japanese word 'Baka' on the windscreen.
Thank you, that's my learning done for today!

I didn't know until just then what JDM stood for smile

Jim on the hill

3,579 posts

127 months

Friday 11th January
quotequote all
Pleeeeeeeeease make an estate

ZX10R NIN

12,674 posts

62 months

Friday 11th January
quotequote all
That's a nice piece of kit.

Pommy

9,368 posts

153 months

Saturday 12th January
quotequote all
This a RWD manual Camry - not sure it deserves a big enigma:

https://www.carsales.com.au/cars/results?q=%28%28%...

mersontheperson

96 posts

102 months

Saturday 12th January
quotequote all
The Camry is also a 4 door saloon from Toyota, so is the crown, but is not the same as the Mark X. This is the drivers focused saloon of the Toyota range. May share some parts but is is a completely different car

Aidancky

201 posts

75 months

Saturday 12th January
quotequote all
My friend has an older Mark X. They started making them in 2004 and it has a touch screen that allows you to select a parking space and it'll self-park. From a TOYOTA!

jamoor

9,595 posts

152 months

Saturday 12th January
quotequote all
Aidancky said:
My friend has an older Mark X. They started making them in 2004 and it has a touch screen that allows you to select a parking space and it'll self-park. From a TOYOTA!
Toyota's have always had pretty sophisticated technology.