The Toyota Corolla is one of the world’s best-selling nameplates ever, and it is sold in nearly every market around the globe. But there’s just one problem – there has never been a factory-made performance-oriented version of it.

Well, that could change soon. At the launch of the new hatchback in San Diego, Corolla chief engineer Yasushi Ueda told CarAdvice that he would love to see a punchier version of the car, and indeed a hotter version of the car is under consideration.

“Personally? Of course,” Ueda said. “This is one of the points that in the model life… it might be something… but the launch time for a direct performance vehicle with a 2.0 litre engine?” Ueda also said there are “no plans at the moment,” but there “might be another opportunity to enhance the product” later.

Meanwhile, Toyota Australia vice president of sales and marketing, Sean Hanley, said the car would be a near-certainty for Australia if (or when) 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 line-up, it would be a car that [we] would be very interested in and would certainly do all of our market research to support bringing that car to our market,” Hanley said.

It sure sounds like a Corolla hot hatch is in the works now, eh? Given the brand’s current emphasis on sporty models, this is perhaps long overdue. Toyota is also looking to revitalise its brand image and offer a sportier line-up of cars. After all, CEO Akio Toyoda did say he plans to bring fun and excitement back to the line-up.

In markets like Europe and Japan, there is already the hot Yaris GRMN on sale, which draws power from a 1.8 litre supercharged petrol engine producing 210 PS, and it’s offered exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission.


Toyota Yaris GRMN

The new Corolla Hatchback, which will be introduced to the OZ market in August this year, rides on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) that improves the car’s torsional rigidity by 60%. Factor in the lower centre of gravity and it sure seems like Gazoo Racing has a solid platform to work with.

In stock form, the Corolla is offered with just one engine at launch – the new M20A-FKS 2.0 litre Dynamic Force naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol. A Direct Shift CVT or six-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT) with auto rev-match can be had.

Now, just how likely is the Corolla GR project? Well, at this point, our guess is as good as yours, really. But if it does make it to production, the new hot hatch will take on the likes of the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Renault Megane RS, newcomer Hyundai i30 N and FK8 Civic Type R. More than 45 million Corollas have been sold to date, so it’s high time the moniker gets a high-performance derivative.

So, what do you think of this? It’s high time that a high-performance, kitted-out Corolla take on the iconic Civic Type R now, isn’t it? As usual, share with us your thoughts below.

GALLERY: 2018 Toyota Corolla Hatchback (US-Spec)