Hot hatch wars: Toyota reportedly plans a Corolla GR to take on Golf GTI
The rumour mill is in high gear with reports, or hopes, that Toyota will introduce a high-performance GR Corolla that would do battle with the likes of the VW Golf GTI.
A US website points to an “Upcoming Vehicles” tab on the automaker's local website which mentions an upcoming “GR Hot Hatch.”
The desires for a GR Corolla stem from the Japanese brand’s resurgence after Toyota kicked off with the GR Supra, and recently followed by the GR Yaris.
The fact that the company has reportedly trademarked the GR Corolla name indicates that the firm’s new urge to spruce up its portfolio of road cars with a fresher edge will materialise in a high-performance GR Corolla variant to compete with the Golf GTI/R, Honda Civic Type R and Focus ST/RS.
GR stands for Gazoo Racing, and it’s the official name used by Toyota to brand its motorsport exploits, which include competing in the World Rally Championship with a GR Yaris, World Endurance Championship with the GR Super Sport TS050 Hybrid racer, FIA GT Championship with the GR Supra, and the Dakar Rally with the GR Hilux.
It remains to be seen whether the rumoured GR Corolla will use the same turbocharged 1.6-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and all-wheel drive system found in the recently launched GR Yaris.
“We have noted the rumours, however there’s currently no company confirmation of this model,” said Toyota SA spokesman Riaan Esterhuysenr.
He did confirm the SA arrival of the GR Yaris sometime in 2021, with outputs of 200kW and 370Nm.