More Word on That Shadowy Hot Corolla…

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
more word on that shadowy hot corolla 8230

Recent trademark filings in Australia offered up tantalizing rumor fare for the hot hatch crowd, but the documents didn’t necessarily spell added future fun for Toyota-loving Americans. That, apparently, is now something they should expect.

The GR Corolla name will reportedly find a home on a three-cylinder version of the Corolla Hatchback — a vehicle whose piston count shouldn’t be scoffed at.

According to Car and Driver, the upcoming hot hatch will land in the U.S. in 2022, donning a turbocharged 1.6-liter three-pot first offered in the can’t-have-it-here GR (Gazoo Racing) Yaris. We’re not Europe, if you hadn’t noticed, so subcompacts remain an afterthought. However, the compact class still has a lot of life left in it.

The motor found in the GR Yaris generates 257 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque — a sizable leap up from the 169 hp and 151 lb-ft offered in existing 2.0-liter Corollas. In terms of its main rival’s output, a so-equipped GR Corolla would land right between the Honda Civic Si and Type R.

Indeed, from the Honda Civic Si and Type R to the Volkswagen Golf GTI and R and now the Hyundai Veloster N, enthusiasts are keeping affordable-ish compacts alive. And the GR Corolla is apparently set to add its name to that rivalry, starting, supposedly, around $30,000 USD.

Nothing official’s on the record from Toyota, though the automaker has shown an increasing willingness to indulge the wilder side of its mainly buttoned-down personality. The jointly developed Supra and TRD-badged Camry and Avalon speak to that desire to upgrade its image. For now, it’s worth noting that no U.S. trademark exists for a GR Corolla.

Another thing helping the blown Corolla hatch’s stateside trip is the enduring popularity of the Corolla itself. Toyota has done nearly all it can to keep customers buying, from adding a much-improved hatch to the lineup for MY2019, to a full revamp of the aging sedan for 2020. That effort saw the Corolla add a hybrid variant for the first time, giving eco-conscious Toyota lovers an alternative to the shrinking (and stigmatized) Prius.

As we told you early this year, the Corolla and Civic have staying power. Even as the market for crossovers reached near-saturation levels in 2019, the updated and diversified Corolla — as well as its main rival — managed to keep their customer base, with the Corolla eking out a narrow sales gain. Quite a feat. A true hot hatch variant would only serve to generate more interest in the once-pedestrian nameplate.

[Image: Toyota]

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