Toyota has pretty much confirmed it will produce a proper hot hatch based on the new Corolla, according to a new report out of Europe.
"We are already working on that. The development takes place under the supervision of Toyota Gazoo Racing. This department has included the Corolla GRMN in the future plan, but for now the project is still in the planning stage," he said.
"We are currently investigating what would be most effective for the European market, but a Corolla GRMN is certainly realistic."
As for what will power this new performance variant, Kanei indicated the Corolla GRMN will not feature hybrid technology. Instead, he hinted at a turbocharged petrol engine measuring 'about' 1.6 litres in capacity.
"We want more power, an even sportier engine and lower CO2 emissions," he said.
Kanei described the Corolla GRMN as a 'global car', according to the publication, though the company will 'carefully examine' the markets in which the vehicle will be available.
As for timing, Toyota's deputy design chief said it shouldn't be long before the Corolla hot hatch will hit the market – potentially mid-way through the current model's life-cycle.
"The car has a relatively short development time, because the basis is already there. TNGA forms an excellent basis. Developing the powertrain takes more time," Kanei-san said.
"In my view, we can best bring the GRMN into the middle of the Corolla life cycle."
Before we see the full-fat Corolla hot hatch, though, Toyota will bring the GR Sport version to the Geneva motor show next week – essentially a sports pack in similar vein to BMW's M Sport line.
As for Australia, Toyota Australia's vice president of sales and marketing, Sean Hanley, told CarAdvice at the new Corolla's local launch in April last year that a performance Corolla would be a near-certainty for our market if it becomes available.
“[There are] no plans right now, but you know, with Gazoo Racing and the opportunity that it presents I think in the future, and should some sportier car become available in the Gazoo Racing lineup, it would be a car that would be very interested in and we would certainly do all of our market research to support bringing that car to our market,” Hanley said.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest.