Toyota could be working on a hotted-up GR Corolla – at least, if reports from Europe are to be believed.
According to Auto Express, the pumped-up Corolla will be powered by the same engine as the GR Yaris – a turbocharged three-cylinder 1.6-litre petrol engine, paired with a six-speed manual transmission.
No performance figures for the GR Corolla were mentioned, but the GR Yaris produces 199kW.
According to the report, Toyota's new hot hatch on-the-block will be a softer proposition than the Yaris GR, rivalling the Volkswagen Golf R, Ford Focus ST, and Hyundai i30 N with a focus on comfort and practicality.
The GR Corolla will use the TNGA platform, according to Auto Express, which makes for “attractive, low-stance designs, with responsive handling, a high-quality drive feel, and collision performance that offers safety and peace of mind”, as Toyota said when the platform was revealed in 2015.
A perfect mix for a hot hatch, you’d say.
At the Geneva motor show in February 2019 Toyota Europe revealed the Corolla GR Sport, which is on sale now in Europe and features a sporty design... but no powertrain updates.
While the unsubstantiated overseas report goes into some level of detail, it does raise a few questions. Will we see an all-new body for the GR Corolla, as per the GR Yaris, or will Toyota use the existing Corolla as the basis for its next hot hatch? If Toyota were to do another ground-up redesign, this would be a substantial investment.
Even though the GR Yaris has the most powerful three-cylinder in the world, is Toyota able to extract even more power for the bigger and heavier Corolla? Or could the 2.0-litre turbo from the Lexus range be adapted?
Lastly, given how popular automatic transmissions are, could the GR Corolla gain an auto, to appeal to a wider audience? Unfortunately, Toyota is remaining tight-lipped about such details.
"Generally speaking we don’t comment on future product plans," a Toyota Australia spokesperson told CarAdvice.
"However, Toyota Australia has previously said that we would look into any GR product that becomes available globally, for introduction into Australia, if it suits our market needs. So, a GR Corolla with significantly upgraded performance from the standard vehicle would definitely be on our radar for introduction to Australia."