Toyota's Gazoo Racing performance division is widely rumoured to be working on a second hot hatchback: the 2022 Toyota GR Corolla.
One size up from the critically-acclaimed GR Yaris, the new GR Corolla is slated to launch globally sometime in 2022 as Toyota's rival for the Volkswagen Golf GTI and R, Hyundai i30 N, Ford Focus ST, Renault Megane RS and Subaru WRX.
Here's everything we know so far – either confirmed or rumoured in overseas media – about the much-anticipated hot hatchback, accompanied by a set of exclusive Photoshop renderings of what Toyota's pocket-rocket could look like.
2022 Toyota GR Corolla engine and transmission
All signs point to the GR Corolla featuring the same 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine as the GR Yaris.
However, whereas the Yaris develops 200kW and 370Nm – already making it the most powerful three-cylinder engine in production – Japanese publication Car Sensor reports the hot Corolla will turn the wick up to 221kW.
A torque figure isn't claimed, however expect a mild increase over its smaller relative's 370Nm claim.
Drive will reportedly be sent to all four wheels through the same six-speed manual transmission and variable all-wheel-drive system as the GR Yaris, offering the same Normal (60:40 front-rear torque split), Sport (30:70) and Track (50:50) drive modes as the smaller car.
Car Sensor claims the GR Corolla will be "slightly inferior" to the smaller Yaris in Toyota's in-house performance tests, as the extra mass inflicted by its longer and wider five-door body outweighs its 21kW power boost.
For reference, the GR Yaris completes the 0-100km/h sprint in 5.2 seconds, towards an electronically-limited top speed of 230km/h.
Above: Toyota Corolla GR Sport, a sport-themed appearance package for Europe.
2022 Toyota GR Corolla chassis
Under the skin, reports suggest the base Corolla's TNGA-C platform will be retained for the flagship GR, with the rear half of the architecture already employed in the GR Yaris to incorporate independent rear suspension and allow for the fitment of all-wheel drive.
However, the hatch's front and rear tracks will be widened to house broader wheels and tyres – fitted to improve roadholding on sealed surfaces, given Japan's Best Car suggests the GR Corolla will be targeted at on-road performance, as opposed to the GR Yaris' gravel-road focus and World Rally Championship roots.
Expect large forged alloy wheels, sticky Michelin tyres, front and rear limited-slip differentials and big performance brakes to be available, either as standard or on a track-focused, flagship 'Rallye' model.
2022 Toyota GR Corolla design and interior
Whereas the GR Yaris features a bespoke body designed for ultimate rallying performance – with a lower roofline, three doors (rather than five) and lightweight aluminium and carbon-fibre parts – the Toyota GR Corolla hot hatch is slated to feature the same five-door body shell as the regular Corolla.
However, tasked with upping the visual aggression will be sportier front and rear bumpers (rendered here with a look similar to the GR Yaris, C-HR GR Sport and other Gazoo Racing models), larger alloy wheels, and dual exhaust tips.
Housing the wider tracks will be flared wheel arches, with the magnitude of the increase rumoured to be anywhere from 20mm to 45mm, the exact claimed figure differing between Japanese publications.
Highlights of our render include a lower front-end borrowed from the GR Yaris, plus front wheel-arch vents, upsized circa-19-inch versions of the Yaris' forged alloy wheels, and bulged front and rear wheel arches (with the design of the rear arch inspired by the GR Yaris).
Car Sensor claims a pair of bonnet vents will also feature, though in our renders we've elected to retain the clean bonnet lines of the regular 'Rolla.
Inside, expect figure-hugging sports seats, a GR-badged steering wheel, and swatches of leather and Alcantara trim.
Will there be a 2022 Toyota GR Corolla wagon?
Multiple Japanese media outlets claim a GR Corolla wagon (rendered above, thanks to Best Car) – or Touring Sports, as it's badged in its home market – will be offered alongside the hatch, come its 2022 launch.
However, a unanimous verdict on what is expected to power it has yet to be reached – Best Car claims the hatch's high-output 1.6-litre turbo-triple will feature, while Car Sensor points to a far less powerful 2.0-litre hybrid system, derived from garden-variety Corolla models. Expect the hatchback's chassis tweaks and visual upgrades to carry over to the wagon, though.
It's unlikely we'll see a GR Corolla wagon offered in Australia, given the standard Corolla wagon isn't offered locally – though nothing has been officially ruled out, and a high-performance small Toyota wagon would make for a formidable rival to the likes of the Skoda Octavia RS and Subaru Levorg (or WRX Wagon, as the new model may be called) locally.
2022 Toyota GR Corolla price and release date
Time for some good news: thanks to its cheaper, Corolla-derived body, standard steel panels (rather than the GR Yaris's carbon-fibre and aluminium elements) and shared engine, Car Sensor reports the new Toyota GR Corolla could be priced from as little as 3.5 to 4.0 million yen in Japan – equating to $41,600 to $47,500 in Australia, at current exchange rates.
Crucially, that price range makes the Corolla (in most cases) cheaper than the smaller and quicker GR Yaris (above), priced in Japan from 3.96 million yen (AU$47,000) in entry-level turbo 'RZ' guise, or 4.56 million yen (AU$54,200) for the flagship 'RZ High Performance', the later equivalent to Australia's range-topping Rallye.
Given equivalent GR Yaris models in Australia are priced from $49,500 and $54,500 before on-road costs respectively, it's conceivable for the GR Corolla to carry over its Japanese prices into Australian showrooms.
However, Car Sensor's report remains an unsubstantiated rumour, with Toyota yet to officially confirm pricing – meaning prices could alternatively be as high as 5 million yen (AU$59,500), as reported by fellow Japanese magazine Best Car.
As for a launch date, Best Car claims the GR Corolla will go on sale in Japan in the northern summer of 2022 (June to August 2022).
Will the 2022 Toyota GR Corolla come to Australia?
Toyota Australia has previously expressed interest in a GR Corolla for our shores, with a spokesperson telling CarAdvice in 2020: "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."
A Corolla-based hot hatch would make a great addition to the Japanese brand's expanding GR performance portfolio, as a larger companion to the sold-out GR Yaris, and an affordable entry point to the range topped by the GR Supra sports car.
Given its rumoured mid-2022 launch date in Japan, it's unlikely the go-fast Corolla would reach Australian showrooms before 2023.