Toyota: Is It Heat That You Want, Fellow Americans?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
toyota is it heat that you want fellow americans

Toyota appears to be ready to answer a call, hinting at — but stopping short of confirming — the future arrival of a small car with outsized performance on American shores.

The automaker’s U.S. arm greeted Thursday by gathering up consumers who’d like to hear more about a GR-badged hot hatch from the company. GR meaning Gazoo Racing, an abbreviation already slapped on a two-door Yaris screamer not available on this continent. Boasting a very blown three-cylinder and all-wheel drive, this Yaris is not your coworker’s wife’s commuter. Nor will its one-size-up sibling be anything to scoff at.

Toyota clearly sees opportunity in the compact hot hatch space, and rumors and trademarks have spoken to this for some time. Today, Toyota’s speaking about it.

While GR Yaris isn't hitting the states…perhaps it's time the U.S. got a hot hatch to call its own. Join the Toyota GR family and never miss an update:

— Toyota USA (@Toyota) May 7, 2020

“While GR Yaris isn’t coming to the U.S., perhaps it’s time the U.S. got a Toyota hot hatch to call its own,” the automaker stated. “One that continues to push the boundaries of performance.”

The link sends the viewer to a landing page that sings the GR Yaris’ praises and asks them to sign up for more info on a U.S. hot hatch entry. The car that dare not mention its name is the GR Corolla, a creation that thus far only exists in overseas trademarks and rumors. Car and Driver says it’s coming, bearing a mildly detuned version of the GR Yaris’ 268-horsepower 1.6-liter three-pot. Whether the model will follow in the Yaris’ tread marks and carry an all-wheel drive system is unknown.

Hell, the C-HR crossover doesn’t even offer an AWD system in the U.S., and it shares a platform with the new-for-2019 Corolla Hatchback. The model does offer four-wheel motivation overseas, however.

The earlier report claims we could see this souped-up Corolla by 2022, with the model carrying a price of around $30,000. Such a vehicle would give Toyota a presence in a field it long ago vacated, providing potential Honda, Volkswagen, and Hyundai buyers with a viable challenger.

Is the GR Corolla really confirmed? All signs poitn to yes, even if Toyota’s not saying so. A quick check of the automaker’s recent U.S. patents still shows no sign of the impending hot hatch, though Corolla Cross remains on the books. That vehicle is most certainly not a hot hatch, unless soft-roading gets you all steamed up.

[Image: Steph Willems/TTAC]

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4 of 19 comments
  • Jerome10 Jerome10 on May 07, 2020

    I'm a fan of small light fun cars. Don't do it Toyota. Nobody is gonna care. Are there ANY small fun cars that sell decently in the USA these days? Maybe the GTI? Miata sells peanuts. Focus ST, etc are gone. MINI sells nothing. Who else am I forgetting?

  • Redbat01 Redbat01 on May 08, 2020

    Regarding the Toyota Corolla hatchback. I own one. When I bought it, I thought it had dual exhaust. Then, when I brought it home, I realized that the exhaust outlets in the rear bumper were fake! 'Talk about tacky! It like the way it drives but I've had regrets ever since.

  • Jeff S Corey--We know but we still want to give our support to you and let TTAC know that your articles are excellent and better than what the typical articles are.
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  • Sckid213 I actually do agree that most Nissans are ultimately junk. (I also think many BMWs are also). I was talking challenging the 3 in terms of driving dynamics. Agree all were failures in sales.
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