Toyota Corolla hot hatch may get wide-body kit, Gazoo Racing engine

The rumor mill suggests there’s also a manual transmission and four-wheel drive in the hopper

Article content

It helps to have a gearhead at the helm of a car company. Akio Toyoda, Toyota’s head honcho in Japan, is known for his leading foot and more than a few skills behind the wheel on a closed course. Several years ago, he issued the decree that his eponymous company would once again be building interesting cars after an era of reliable but often dull machines.

Article content

The latest salvo in this approach? A common understanding that Toyota will soon introduce a competitor to cars like the Honda Civic Type R and VW Golf R. According to a report from America, the project is well underway and will feature some tasty performance parts when it shows up for service on this side from the pond.

Sources reportedly well placed in Toyota have indicated that the hot Corolla will use the high-tension 1.6L three-cylinder engine from a GR Yaris, tuned and jacked up to somewhere in the 300hp range. A manual transmission is anything but insured, given what’s on hand in the cars it will compete with.

It is also rumored to be a large-scale transplant of the all-wheel drive system in the GR Yaris, a component that allows different torque distributions according to driving requirements thanks to the presence of a central diff. This would put the GR Corolla (assuming it will be the official name on release) in a thin air and give it an edge over the Honda. Expect the car to have a more aggressive look than run-of-the-mill Corolla hatchbacks, with a so-called ‘wide-body’ kit apparently under consideration, as well as a tri-tip exhaust similar to what extends below the current Civic Type R.

Article content

Since Toyoda has stated that its Japan-based company would once again build interesting cars, we’ve seen the reintroduction of the Supra (with a choice of engines), plus a large-scale shift in styling decisions for everyday vehicles like the RAV4. Not to mention incremental volume rigs like the Corolla hatchback that the GR Corolla will be based on, plus style-over-substance machines like the Venza crossover. Even the Sienna minivan is no longer a cure for insomnia, at least not from a styling standpoint.

Any new hot hatch is always welcome around these parts, especially if it has a stick shift and four-wheel drive. The GR Corolla should be released sometime in 2022.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.