The Toyota GR Yaris is a tantalizing forbidden fruit that doesn’t come to the United States, but there is still hope of a high-performance Corolla available in America. A new rumor of Car sensor in Japan, the model could have 296 horsepower (220.6 kilowatts or 300 metric horsepower).
The engine would be an optimized version of the turbocharged 1.6-liter three-cylinder from the GR Yaris. Pushing the engine to 296 hp from the current 257 hp (192 kW) shouldn’t be too difficult as Litchfield already has kits that push the output to 305 hp (227 kW).
Power goes through a six-speed manual gearbox. There is an all-wheel drive with three modes that change the distribution of front-to-rear torque.
According to Car sensor, Toyota uses the five-door hatchback version of the Corolla as the basis for the GR version. Exterior modifications include revised bumpers, wider front and rear fenders with ducts and a vent in the hood to dissipate heat from the engine.
An even more tantalizing detail in this abundance of rumors concerns the price of the GR Corolla. According to this report, the hot hatch would be priced in Japan between 3.5 million yen ($ 32,395 at current exchange rates) to 4.0 million yen ($ 37,021). For comparison, the all-wheel-drive GR Yaris RZ has a starting price of 3.96 million yen ($ 36,650). If those numbers for the GR Corolla’s price turn out to be correct, then the hot hatch could be a bargain.
In Japan, there could also be a GR version of the Corolla Touring wagon that uses a 2.0-liter engine with hybrid assistance. Since this model is not available in the United States, the chances of it arriving in America seem low.
Rumors suggest that the GR Corolla will debut in 2021 but may not be on sale in the US until the 2023 model year. That still means the hot hatch could be in US showrooms by the next. second half of 2022. In 2019, Toshio Kanei, deputy chief designer at Toyota, confirmed that the vehicle is in development.