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Toyota GR Corolla here in October: report

Dealer leak shows hot 221kW GR Corolla will touchdown before end of year

4 Mar 2022

ACCORDING to leaked dealer documents sourced by The Drive, Toyota may release its hotly anticipated GR Corolla this October.


The documents, which appear to come from the New York region of the United States, show a dealer roadmap for Toyota’s North American operations that outlines the arrival of new models, including the sporty GR Corolla.


The documents list the Toyota GR Corolla as “on sale” in October 2022 and the sales target for the new model in that region (for what we assume would be the balance of 2022) as 90 units.


The GR Corolla is understood to feature the same 1.6-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine found under the bonnet of the GR Yaris. The powerplant is tipped to be uprated to 221kW to compensate for the larger Corolla’s additional weight. Like its GR Yaris sibling, the GR Corolla will feature all-wheel drive replete with a varying torque-split centre differential.


Some sources say the GR Corolla could also offer locking front and rear differentials as well, but this information has not been confirmed. It is understood the newcomer will feature a wider body and wheel track, as well as a six-speed manual transmission.


Full specifications and pricing for the GR Corolla are a long way from being confirmed, but, given the price increase of the GR Yaris above conventional models, it’s anticipated the GR Corolla could retail for as much as $65,000 when it arrives in Australian dealerships.


The leaked dealer documents follow factory-ordained teaser images published on Toyota’s American Instagram account late last year. The cryptic images revealed several clues to the future model’s configuration, including engine size and outputs, body style and even 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 probably be powered by the GR Yaris’ G16E-GTS powerplant.


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 produce 268hp (200kW), which is a similar output to that of the GR Yaris – while the satellite navigation screen’s display indicates the photo was taken on GR Four road, which suggests 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 Corolla Hatchback variant 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 that the US-bound model would be all-wheel-driven.


The GR Yaris’ 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 its all-wheel-drive Golf R sibling.


Later this 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 EV performance model.

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