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GR Corolla cleverly teased – twice!

Cryptic: If you look closer at the dashboard, you’ll notice the clock reads G:16 and the climate control system read-out shows 2 68.

Puzzling Instagram pic suggests GR Corolla may adopt GR Yaris running gear

1 Dec 2021

TOYOTA has repeatedly teased details of its forthcoming GR Corolla via the company’s American Instagram page, on which a pair of cryptic images reveal several clues to the future model’s configuration, including engine size and outputs, body style and driveline.


The first image showed the interior of the current-gen Corolla with a camouflaged GR Corolla prototype speeding through the background. Clad in the same black and red veil as pre-production versions of the GR Supra and GR Yaris, the five-door hatch will likely receive a six-speed manual gearbox and rear-seat delete option, according to the GR Corolla Forum.


If you look closer at the dashboard of the teased model, you’ll notice the clock reads G:16, which hints that the GR Corolla will likely be powered by the same G16E-GTS 1.6-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine as found under the bonnet of the visceral GR Yaris hatch.


There are still more clues in the enigmatic first image… The Corolla’s climate control system read-out shows 2 68 – possibly referencing that the GR Corolla will output 268hp (200kW), which is similar to that of the GR Yaris – while the satellite navigation screen shows the photo was taken on GR Four road, suggesting the model will have an all-wheel drivetrain.


Then, about a week after the first image appeared, a member of the GR Corolla Forum noticed that another image on Toyota USA’s Instagram page showed a seemingly ordinary standard Corolla Hatchback but, next to it, a camouflaged GR Corolla was hiding in the shadows of some nearby shipping containers, one of which bore the lettering G16 GR Four – a further hint that seemed to confirm the US-bound model would be all-wheel-driven.  


The GR Yaris’s switchable, rally-bred all-wheel-drive system is capable of apportioning drive between the front and rear axles in Normal (60:40), Sport (30:70) and Track (50:50) ratios.


Elsewhere online, the higher performance Toyota GR Corolla “Rallye” is rumoured to receive an uprated version of the 1.6-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine. A memo leaked to American Toyota dealers suggests the model will produce as much as 224kW and 370Nm.


Once released, the GR Corolla will compete in one of the fiercest performance categories as a rival to the Ford Focus ST, Honda Civic Type R, Hyundai i30 N, Peugeot 308 GTi, Renault Megane RS, Subaru WRX, as well as the Volkswagen Golf GTI and all-wheel-drive Golf R.  


From late next year, Toyota’s revitalised sportscar line-up will comprise the GR Yaris, GR Corolla, GR Supra and an all-new 86 coupe. The GR Sport applique has already been applied to other variants in the range, including the HiLux and 300-series LandCruiser. 


Toyota is also said to be readying an all-new MR2. The upcoming model will possibly mark the return of a mid-rear engine configuration that was last seen in a Toyota back in 2007. 


The new two-seat sports car, which Toyota is co-developing with Lotus, is likely to feature an all-electric driveline, which would make it the brand’s first true EV performance model. 

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