TAS 2019: Toyota Mark X GRMN returns – 318 PS 3.5L NA V6, six-speed manual, limited to 350 units

Four years ago, Toyota introduced a performance version of its Mark X sedan, called the GRMN. Short for Gazoo Racing Masters of Nürburgring, it paired a 3.5 litre naturally-aspirated V6 with a six-speed manual gearbox – the only variant to do so – and rear-wheel drive, and as it was limited to just 100 units in its home market of Japan, it sold out pretty quickly.

Those of you who missed out on the initial run, fret not, as the Mark X GRMN is back. There’s a larger allocation this time around, but with just 350 units available, you’ll still have to act fast to snag one. The recipe remains largely the same, so the 2GR-FSE direct-injected mill continues to churn out the same 318 PS at 6,400 rpm and 380 Nm of torque at 4,800 rpm – figures that are identical to the standard Mark X.

TAS 2019: Toyota Mark X GRMN returns – 318 PS 3.5L NA V6, six-speed manual, limited to 350 units

The row-your-own ‘box is still unique to the GRMN, and what’s more, the company has retuned the engine and transmission and revised the gearing of the Torsen limited-slip rear differential for a more pleasurable shifting experience. The body has also been strengthened with 252 extra spot welds, which were performed at the Motomachi plant that has also built the Lexus LFA and LC sports cars.

To take full advantage of this, the GRMN gets a revamped electric power steering system, new dampers and revised suspension tuning. All this is wrapped in a more aggressive exterior, dominated by a massive front grille that will get those in front to move out of the way when they see this thing in their rear-view mirror.

You’ll also get a small bootlid spoiler, quad exhaust pipes, gloss black door mirrors and handles and dark chrome highlights at the front and rear, while the gorgeous 19-inch forged BBS alloy wheels hide larger brake discs that measure 18 inches at the front, clamped by silver GR-branded four-piston callipers. An optional carbon fibre roof shaves 10 kg off the cars weight.

Inside, there are bucket seats wrapped in Ultrasuede upholstery, a smaller three-spoke steering wheel, a redesigned instrument cluster and fake carbon fibre trim, not to mention the three aluminium pedals. Want to snag one of the 350 units? You’ll have to prepare to fork out 5.13 million yen (RM194,200) for one, plus another 270,000 yen (RM10,200) for the carbon roof.