Toyota’s 2020 Copen GR Sport Is Yet Another Cool, Adorable Kei Car We Can’t Have
It’s too small for your average American, but the Copen GR Sport looks like the most tossable toy since the tennis ball.
If you're among the many awaiting the third member of Toyota's "Three Brothers" sports car lineup, you'll be thrilled by the news that Toyota has just revealed a new sports car...and disappointed by the fact that it won't be sold in the United States. Meet the 2020 Copen GR Sport.
Let's get the most important thing out of the way: The Copen GR Sport isn't coming to America because it's a kei car, the smallest class of highway-legal car in Japan. That means it has to fit into an imaginary box that's 11.2-feet long and 4.9-feet wide, and can't have an engine larger than 660cc, producing 63 horsepower. The Daihatsu-built Copen GR Sport fulfills all those obligations, featuring a 658cc, turbocharged three-cylinder, which can be paired with either a CVT or a five-speed manual transaxle, the latter of which offers a "super LSD" for maximum front-axle traction.
Yes, we hear your groaning about how this car is front-wheel-drive, but we'll choose to ignore it and pay heed to the Copen GR Sport's absurdly low curb weight of under 1,900 pounds. That alone would make it practically a road-legal kart, but Gazoo Racing has bolted a bunch of upgrades to the Copen that'll make it even better at cornering than normal. Twin chassis braces reduce frame flex and retuned shocks keep the tires (which enclose forged BBS wheels) on the pavement. All the while, improved electric power steering communicates understeer, oversteer, and everything in between to your hands.
As any good go-fast variant does, the Copen GR Sport adopts aggressive, sporting styling cues. Its LED headlights get special dark surrounds, which complement restyled front and rear valences, each of which bears GR Sport badges.
Pricing for the 2020 Copen GR Sport starts at ¥2,435,000, or $22,370. It's a lot of money for not a ton of car, but Japan's tax incentives for tiny kei cars will surely help sell at least a few of these delightful oddities—just not enough for Toyota to consider bringing the Copen GR Sport over our way.
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