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GR Corolla all but confirmed by Toyota USA

Toyota seems set to launch new GR Corolla hot hatch on the world after the GR Yaris

14 May 2020

TOYOTA USA has sent the motoring world into a frenzy after all but confirming that a hi-po GR version of its Corolla hatchback was in the works, destined to go toe-to-toe with established hot-hatch heavyweights like the Hyundai i30 N or even the Volkswagen Golf R.


The announcement was made on a dedicated webpage under the ‘upcoming vehicles’ tab of the Toyota USA website, headlined by the words ‘Pure. Toyota. Sports.’.


On the page, a small passage explains how the upcoming GR Yaris stole the show at the 2020 Tokyo Auto Salon and how its omission from the American market had caused an outcry from disappointed fans.


The passage goes on to mention the key stats and details of the ballistic Yaris before reading: “While GR Yaris isn’t coming to the US, perhaps it’s time the US got a Toyota hot hatch to call its own. One that continues to push the boundaries of performance. And one that can only come from Toyota Gazoo Racing. Are you with us?”


Toyota only sells one other hatchback in the US – and Australia– other than the Yaris, which by power of deduction all but confirms that a GR Corolla is in the pipeline.


The revelation lays to rest rumours that have been swirling for months that a hot Corolla was coming after Toyota Australia submitted a patent filing with IP Australia for the GR Corolla nameplate back in March.


When asked about the possibility of the GR Corolla making it to Aussie soil, a Toyota Australia spokesperson said the brand had “always shown interest in offering a high-performance Corolla locally” and recognised that hot hatches are loved Down Under.


“Nothing has been officially confirmed on a GR Corolla, however, if one were to become available from our global line up, we would most definitely very keen to bring it here,” they said.


While the hi-po hatchback has not yet been officially ‘announced’, rumours and theories are already being spun as to the GR Corolla’s powertrain and key figures with the most common and likely consensus being that it will score the same force-fed 1.6-litre three-cylinder petrol engine as the 200kW/370Nm Yaris.


Power – whatever the final figure ends up being – is also tipped to be fed to the ground by the same all-wheel-drive system and six-speed-manual transmission, potentially elevating the Japanese newcomer above the front-wheel-drive Golf GTI and into the firing line of the all-wheel-drive Golf R.


This theory of the GR Corolla sharing the vast majority of its DNA with the smaller Yaris is backed up by the images accompanying the above passage on the Toyota US website as they show different components as well as the underpinnings and powerplant of the Yaris.


The first is of the GR Yaris’ interior, specially its decently bolstered seats and gear lever, the second shows the three alloy pedals below the GR-branded steering wheel, the third shows its drivetrain and suspension setup while the fourth image is a close-up of its GR-badged brakes.


On the topic of the GR Yaris and its highly anticipated arrival in Australia, the Toyota spokesperson said that interest thus far had been strong and confirmed that a fourth quarter launch was still on the cards for the ballistic compact hatch.


They also confirmed the GR Yaris would not be volume limited like the Supra and that the brand was “hoping to be able sell one to everyone that wants one”.

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