The rumors about a Toyota GR Corolla equipped with the engine of the great GR Yaris they are becoming more and more persistent. Now, it seems that finally Toyota would have given the green light to the commercialization of this sporty version of the compact hybrid, according to Motor Trend citing internal company sources. Toyota maintains silence, neither confirms nor denies, but it is releasing indications, as one who does not want the thing.
According to the American publication, the Toyota GR Corolla will have four-wheel drive with a six-speed manual transmission and will have a more powerful version of the peculiar engine 261PS 1.6-liter 3-cylinder of the acclaimed GR Yaris under the hood.
On the other hand, a publication on Instagram by Toyota USA with the comment “Keep them guessing”, which can be translated as something like keep them in suspense, or keep the expectation, could be full of nods to that GR Corolla.
In the photo you can see a Toyota Corolla dashboard, with automatic transmission, with the inscription G: 16 on the instrument panel (a possible reference to the GR Yaris engine) and in the distance what appears to be a rally GR Yaris lowering a dirt track.
Is it all a reference to the future GR Corolla? In principle, it would not mean the arrival of the GR Yaris to the United States (homologation costs would be exorbitant for such a low volume, since the “normal” Toyota Yaris is not sold there either). Thus, for the sources of the American publication, there is no doubt, it is the GR Corolla.
While the GR Yaris, designed from the ground up to compete in the World Rally Championship, only shares the headlights and taillights, exterior rear-view mirrors and roof-mounted antenna with the current Yaris, the GR Corolla will share the majority of its basic structure and body with the normal Corolla.
However, it will feature more aggressive front and rear bumpers, with a more pronounced spoiler and splitter at the front and, of course, a GR logo on the small grille. At the rear, a false diffuser houses the two tailpipes, one on each side.
Toyota, which lobbied the FIA to allow a three-cylinder engine in the World Rally Championship, claims that the G16E-GTS engine in the GR Yaris is the smallest and lightest 1.6-liter turbo engine in the world, and the three-cylinder engine. most powerful production cylinders in the world. The low weight of the engine and its compactness, apparently, were key to its creation.
300 hp, all-wheel drive and manual gearbox
In the GR Yaris, the G16E-GTS performs 261 hp at 6,500 rpm (275 hp in Japan) and 360 Nm from 3,000 rpm to 4,600 rpm. Toyota sources have assured that the engine will be boosted to offer more power and torque in the GR Corolla, and that there is a lot of room to increase its power, even in the road configuration. Its main market rivals are around 300 hp.
In the Yaris WRC, the G16-GTS could comfortably be developing 375 hp and 450 Nm of torque with the mandatory flange (the car never ran because of the pandemic and will not do so because of the regulation change).
The GR Corolla will keep the McPherson front suspension of the stock car, albeit with reinforced components and a different geometry, and will probably use a version of the GR Yaris multi-link setup on the rear axle.
A priori it would not be something complicated since the GR Yaris is a hybrid between the TNGA-B platform (from the normal Yaris) and the TNGA-C for the rear. And the Corolla is built on the TNGA-C platform.
As for all-wheel drive, the GR Corolla would inherit that of the GR Yaris. It has a center differential that can be configured in three modes: Normal, which sends 60% of the torque to the front wheels; Sport, which sends 70% to the rear wheels; and Track, which divides the torque 50% between the two axles.
The unknown of the change remains. In principle, it would be the 6-speed manual gearbox of the GR Yaris, but an automatic gearbox should not be ruled out, for commercial reasons. As long as it is technically possible, of course.
The big question is whether this hypothetical GR Corolla would make it to Europe. In principle, everything indicates that it will be a model destined in priority to the US market that was left without the GR Yaris. That said, Toyota could also bring it to Europe to rival the CUPRA success, of the Hyundai i30N and the Volkswagen Golf GTi and Golf R.
Now, the sports compact market in Europe is complicated, with many suitors and few chosen ones. Peugeot, for example, has renounced it with the new Peugeot 308. And it is that in addition to the generalist brands, we must also fight against the premium ones, Audi S3 and RS3 and Mercedes-AMG Class A. Maybe Toyota dares, even if it is in limited series form to create the same buzz as with the GR Yaris.
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