By on February 14, 2020

Drivers in North America have urged Toyota to export the 268-horsepower GR Yaris pretty much since the day it was announced. There’s even a petition to get the European variant shipped to Canada. Still, it always seemed like an impossible dream. An ultra-powerful subcompact doesn’t have mass appeal here and the model isn’t actually the same car as the one sold in Japan.

However, Toyota may not leave North American consumers empty handed. The automaker has heard the Western wailing and is working on a plan to appease the market. While the GR Yaris may be a bridge too far, something akin to the hot hatch is reportedly in development to cover for its absence. 

According to Car and Driver,  Toyota’s executive vice president of sales, Bob Carter, told reporters the automaker had  “an answer” for the GR Yaris on Thursday — one that would make it North America.


Carter didn’t say what that answer would be, but the logical choice has to ride on the TNGA platform and be roughly the same size as the Yaris. That really only leaves the Corolla hatchback and C-HR as potential candidates, with the former being the preferred choice by any sensible enthusiast. Both should be able to accept the GR Yaris’ 1.6-liter inline three-cylinder and six-speed manual.

Assuming the planned vehicle also adopts the Yaris’ all-wheel drive and limited-slip differentials, and you’ve got something that might even make WRX faithful look twice. Like us, Car and Driver is banking on the Corolla being the better option. It’s easier on the eyes, more refined than the C-HR, and putting in an exciting powertrain solves its biggest problem — that it’s not terribly fun to drive, despite looking like it would be.

[Images: Toyota]

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19 Comments on “Toyota Planning Something Like GR Yaris for North America...”

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    I am hopeful. A simple GT-S version of the Corolla hatch would interest me, even without the AWD. As this is Toyota though, I’ll believe it when I see it and prepare myself for their “answer” being a wheel and sticker package.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      Sounds like someone has had their heart broken a few times too many and never doubles down on a bet.

    • 0 avatar

      Oh, absolutely. Coming soon to a Toyota dealer near you–the Corolla GR-Line, complete with Pontiac cladding.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m among the several dozens who might be interested in this. For me something like the UK spec “GR Sport” or “Excel” would probably be the sweet spot that combines power/economy/reliability/comfort/longevity. 2.0 hybrid gains about 20 hp, not crazy power, but gains a few more MPG, smooth & quiet city drivability, better colors than US (Denim blue!), comfort options not in US trims.

  • avatar

    250 hp would be perfectly acceptable to me.

  • avatar

    Why not the Yaris for North America? Is the North American Yaris on different platform than the rest of the world?

  • avatar

    Considering the GR Yaris already use the GA-C platform shared with Corolla for its rear (instead of the GA-B in the new global market Yaris), I’m hoping many of its bits including the AWD can be carried over without too much trouble. Crossing fingers.

  • avatar

    They’ll sell dozens. Dozens, I tell you! because the people who are clamoring for a GR Yaris don’t/can’t buy a new car.

    • 0 avatar

      Why? I will put deposit down if they bring here Yaris GT with twin turbo V6.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      You might be right on the “dozens” bit, but I would definitely be among that handful of buyers and the lease on the Fiesta ST is ending. Honestly the Corolla GT would make my list as is if they gave it some power. It isn’t like those of us that like these sorts of cars have a bunch of choices.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, after coming around to the sad, difficult but inevitable realization that a Charger Scat Pack Widebody ain’t gonna work as a daily for me, I’m looking at replacing my 2015 6-speed Accord with a Veloster N – or a MK8 GTI or new WRX if I want to wait until fall. If Toyota offers a hot version of the Corolla hatch, I’ll seriously consider that too. I like the looks, just needs more spice.

      ** Agree generally that “enthusiasts” talk a big game prior to settling on their Rogues and RAV-4s though. Just saying what my weird a– is doing. I’m sure the automakers are not tripping all over each other to secure the 6-speed Accord owners’ business, LOL! But I am out here.

  • avatar

    Corolla hatch is 200 plus pounds heavier and oversized. Everyone else gets ribeye and we get hamburger steak. No thanks.

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