Toyota Corolla GR Sport

With the GR Yaris selling like hotcakes in every market it’s being introduced, Toyota is now turning its attention to other go-faster GR-badged models. Word on the vine is that the GR Corolla is next in line, being developed in time for a mid-2022 unveiling.

That’s according to Japan’s Best Car Web, which also said that the C-segment hot hatch (no sedan planned, unfortunately) will get the same mechanicals as its smaller sibling. This includes the G16E-GTS 1.6 litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine that in the Japanese-market GR Yaris produces 272 PS at 6,500 rpm and 370 Nm of torque from 3,000 to 4,600 rpm, plus a six-speed manual gearbox.

Better yet, the Corolla is also set to inherit the trick all-wheel drive system that is capable of sending up to 70% of torque to the rear wheels. Despite this, the GR Corolla is expected to be more mature and less hardcore than the Yaris, with a chassis tuned more for road driving rather than crushing rally stages.

There will also be a GR version of the Corolla Touring wagon

This is reflected in the car’s body structure. Whereas the GR Yaris utilises a bespoke three-door body shell – both to homologate a more aerodynamic design for the World Rally Championship (WRC) and add double wishbone suspension at the rear to fit the AWD system – the Corolla will sport the same five-door hatch body as the cooking models. That’s because the base car already has the more sophisticated rear axle, instead of the cheaper torsion beam on the regular Yaris.

Even so, the GR model will get a few significant visual tweaks to differentiate it from the standard Corolla. Best Car Web reported that the car will be 20 mm wider, thanks to stretched fenders that will likely house wider tracks and tyres; it will also ride 10 mm lower.

Fans of hot wagons will also be pleased to know that the longroof version, the Corolla Touring, will also receive the GR treatment with the same performance addenda. That car is being touted as a spiritual successor to the relatively popular Caldina GT-Four, with sources saying that it’s even being referred to as the “Corolla GT-Four” internally.

So if the Corolla will share the same hardware as the Yaris, then why is it taking so long? Apparently, Toyota Gazoo Racing was rushing to put the latter on the market, so it prioritised that car first. The G16E-GTS engine is also quite a specialist engine, requiring dedicated skilled workers for certain manufacturing processes, so ramping up production is a little difficult.