Toyota Teased the U.S.-Bound GR Corolla and It Took Us a Month to Notice

·2 min read
Photo credit: Toyota
Photo credit: Toyota

We have been pining for the Toyota GR Yaris ever since it was unveiled. It's a proper homologation special that broke all of Toyota's rules, a transcendent driving experience at an approachable price. I argued that Toyota shouldn't be allowed to do anything until it rectifies the injustice of depriving us of this car. Unfortunately, we aren't going to get it here. But a teaser from Toyota suggests we're getting the next best thing: a GR Corolla.

The trouble with the Yaris is it's ruinously expensive to federalize an entirely new chassis for what in a great year will still be a low-volume car. Other markets are cheaper—and required for WRC homologation—but the U.S. gets left out. So Toyota looks to be applying some of the Yaris' best bits to its primary U.S. market hatch, the Corolla.

This has been rumoured for a while, but the dedicated GR Corolla forum has finally found official evidence of the upcoming hot hatch. An Instagram post from Toyota USA features clues so subtle that it took the community over a month to notice them. Because at first glance, the post from October 26 is a re-used press photo of a Corolla's interior.

Look closely and you'll see, however, that the instrument cluster says "G:16," likely a reference to the GR Yaris' G16E-GTS turbocharged three-cylinder engined, rumored to be the sole powertrain option for the GR Corolla. As far as power output is concerned, Motor1 points out that the climate controls show "2" and "68," which is what the Japanese-market GR Yaris makes. Then there's the navigation screen, which shows the car near a road called "GR Four," Toyota's branded name for its performance all-wheel-drive system. In case that wasn't enough to communicate what the company is trying to get across, it also stuck what looks to be a camouflaged mule of the GR Corolla in the top right corner of the image. Folks, it's happening.

With just those few keys, a lot of the things we were hoping for appear to be coming true. Toyota had already spoken publicly about an upcoming hot hatch, but the company's conservative culture made me skeptical that we'd get all-wheel-drive or a rowdy three-cylinder turbo. It's still possible that Toyota will get 268 hp out of some other engine or fit the Corolla with a less sophisticated all-wheel-drive system than the one in the Yaris. It'd just be bizarre to tease it this way if the company was poised to underdeliver. Here's to hoping the company doesn't break our hearts.

Via Motor1 and GR Corolla Forum.

You Might Also Like

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting