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You’re more than likely aware of the fact that there are some iconic sports cars from overseas that are illegal to import into the U.S. Likely, the Nissan Skyline GT-R comes to mind. However, not many folks realize that there are still awesome cars being sold brand new that we don’t get in the U.S. Yes, we understand that it’s all about the cars not meeting U.S. safety and emissions standards. That won’t stop us from being bitter about getting this amazing little JDM Toyota GR sports car.

The Toyota GR Sport Copen is a pocket-size ripper of a roadster

Toyota GR sports car GR Sport Copen carbon fiber roof silver
Toyota Copen GR Sport | Toyota

The 2023 Toyota Copen GR Sport is a collaboration between Toyota and Daihatsu. It’s a Japanese-market Kei car, and it’s one of the coolest things currently on the automotive market around the world.

For those unfamiliar, a Kei car is a small car compliant with Japanese laws that promote affordable and reliable transportation. They can be no longer than 3.4 meters (about 11 feet) and have a maximum engine size of 660cc. As one would expect, though, it didn’t take manufacturers long to start pushing the limits of what’s possible within those limitations. Right now, this mighty little Toyota GR sports car is the pinnacle.

Under the hood of the Copen GR Sport is a 63-horsepower turbo three-cylinder engine. It packs 68 pound-feet of torque and is available with either a 5-speed manual or a CVT. Sure, that power may seem punitive, but you have to keep in mind that this tiny thing only weighs 2,000 pounds. Plus, the GR additions are what really make this little roadster shine.

Toyota GR made the Copen a windy-road warrior

Momo black steering wheel with manual transission in GR Sport Copen
Copen GR Sport Momo Steering Wheel | Toyota

It’s all about momentum with the GR Sport Copen. So, GR’s primary focus was chassis rigidity and handling. In addition, the cabin has some performance upgrades to make sure the driver stays planted and comfortable through the most spirited of drives.

GR added a beefy front brace to this goofy little goober. In addition, it modified the shape and structure of the standard Copen rear brace. Finally, upgraded shocks and springs work with the bracing to keep the Copen GR Sport flat through corners.

Toyota GR Copen Sport Recaro bucket seats interior
Copen GR Sport Recaro Seats | Toyota

On the inside, a Momo steering wheel teams up with a set of Recaro bucket seats to keep you planted and zipping through corners. Sure, it’s not a 700-horsepower supercar. However, the Copen GR Sport’s spirit makes every corner a racetrack!

Sadly, there’s virtually zero chance of this beautiful Toyota GR sports car hitting U.S. soil. It’s a shame, too, because its price tag of around $22,000 is mighty attractive. Oh well! We’ll just have to wait for it to become import-legal in the U.S. in 2048.

See you then!


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