Total surprise. Initial buyer backed out. My sales guy decided I would be worthy to purchase so I got bumped up to the top of the list. So I took a look with no intention of buying. Yeah right. Anyway, it's a fully loaded Core in white, just like I wanted. We worked the numbers out in my favor. Paid about $500 markup, which was offset by the Military/Veteran incentive. Traded my DD, and now, the GRC is my DD. I still have the VN.
Anyway, on to comparisons. It's a VERY different car from the VN. I took the GRC out on some twisty roads just to get a feel for it. It's a very different car from the VN. I can tell immediately that Toyota build it to be a dual duty car. Mainly street, with the occasional track day. Whereas the VN is mostly track focused and kinda sucks for regular driving. For one, the steering isn't as quick or 'darty' as the VN's. This is up to preference though. The turn in is less razor sharp. The VN's nose goes right to where you point it immediately. Whereas the GRC doesn't have the same immediacy. That's not to say that it's sloppy or anything. It's just a little less immediate. The GRC, despite being 150 lbs heavier, feels a lot lighter on its feet compared to the VN. The VN, by comparison, feels... denser and more planted. But there's a certain heft through the steering the VN has that the GRC does not. The VN feels more eager to rotate the rear around, while the GRC is much more neutral. Body roll is practically imperceptible with the GRC. It has fixed suspension. It's stiff, but compliant. And compression feels similar to Normal mode on the VN(maybe just a smidge stiffer), but has a lot more rebound damping in comparison. It's definitely a very composed vehicle.
Power delivery wise, the GRC has the VN beat. It feels faster and IS faster. It also makes nice little turbo noises which I love. Engine note... I expected a Triumph motorcycle triple. But that's not it. I think it sounds better than the VN, but not by much. The VN still has the pops and burbles which is a lot of fun. The shifter is a bit smoother and a little less rubbery than the VN's. But the throws are slightly longer. The rev matching feels more 'natural' since I don't notice it. Sometimes, the rev matching on the VN can feel a little inconsistent. The engine oil and coolant also run A LOT cooler than the VN. By at least 20-25F. That could be a godsend on track, but I'll see when I track it in April. It's 50F outside now and the VN would be above 200F in both oil and coolant, while the GRC stayed under 200F. So Toyota might have actually done their homework with the cooling system.
I can't really feel the AWD system 'working'. Meaning it's just transparent. I didn't push it to the limit in any of the modes, and with regular or even spirited driving, I didn't really feel a difference in the handling of the car. I suspect this will change when I take it to the track.
I know the VN has the more aggressive actual track ready brake pads and the GRC does not. But the brake pedal on the GRC beat's the VN. It's stiff and progressive. I could do a perfect brake bleed on the VN and I would not be able to get the VN's pedal to feel like this. It's perfect. As far as comfort goes, it's a lot more comfortable to drive than the VN on crappy roads. It's not even close. The infotainment stuff on the GRC is so confusing and unintuitive. VN wins UI by a long shot. Perhaps I'm just not used to Toyota's UI, but it's not that great, IMO. The GRC lacks a center armrest/cubby hole as well. Toyota will probably make that standard in the 2024 model. The seats are surprisingly a tie. The GRC seats don't look super sporty like the 21-22 VN seats, but they are cloth and have nice bolsters to keep me in place. Comfortable for at least an hour's drive. I also sit noticeably higher in the GRC than I do in the VN, even with the seat all the way in the low position. The VN has a thicker steering wheel and the GRC is so much thinner. I personally like the thicker steering wheel of the VN more.
Build quality goes to Toyota. Fit and finish is just that much better. The materials feel a little nicer as well, especially on the dash. The back seats are actually useable too. And size wise, the GRC is about 6 inches longer. Looks wise, I think the GRC wins. It looks so... badass. There's nothing else like it on the road. It has presence that the VN can't match. The VN is a looker too, but put them side by side in a Cars and Coffee and the GRC will get the views.
Overall, I love the GRC. I kept my expectations in check going in to this, and it has at least met my expectations, and even surpassed a few of them, especially power delivery and comfort. Would you be missing out on a GRC if you keep your VN? Well, I would say no, especially if you're a track day guy like me. AWD doesn't make a car go faster around the track. And the VN is tuned specifically to go fast on a track. But if you're looking for a really fun DD, the GRC is it. To get it to be as track capable as the VN, handling wise, is probably going to need some aftermarket suspension, while the VN does just fine with the stock. I do plan to track the GRC in April. I'm curious to see how well it stacks against the VN. My guess is that it will plow at the limit. The GRC will 100% have more aftermarket support than the VN. One model year of GRCs built is probably equivalent to the amount of VN's built in its short 4 year lifespan. In addition, the GRC will also be released in Japan and Australia. Both of which have a strong tuning community.
They're just very, very different cars TBH. The each fill a niche. I don't think you can go wrong with holding on to your VN, trading it for a GRC, or keeping both like me(at least for the time being).
Still can't believe I managed to snag one today. I was convinced that I wouldn't get one until later this year or next year. But here she is.
Feel free to ask any questions. I can probably answer them.