A new hot hatch rival to the Golf GTI, Hyundai i30 N and Renault Megane RS looks set to join the Yaris GR in Toyota’s lively hot hatch lineup.

TOYOTA HAS confirmed the Corolla GR hot hatch name, registering the badge around the world including in Australia.

Previous reports suggest that sources at Toyota say the engine will be the same 1.6-litre three-cylinder turbo used in the Yaris, which is a stonking piece of engineering.

The bespoke engine which has so far only been confirmed for the Yaris would be a waste if not utilised in other applications, and it seems fair to conclude it will feature in the Corolla GR. Producing 200kW and 370Nm from a lightweight footprint, the motor is attached to a six-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive system in the Yaris which is also said to carry into the Corolla spin-off.

This will be a sharp rival to the front-wheel driven VW Golf GTI (180kW, 370Nm) and Hyundai i30 N (202kW, 353Nm).

While the Yaris GR is a uniquely tuned and built model compared to regular Yaris models, the special production adds significantly to its cost. However, the Corolla might not take such measures so that it’s more accessible to hot hatch enthusiasts.

Toyota Australia has not confirmed that the model will launch in Australia despite registering the nameplate here just days ago, but when previously approached by Practical Motoring a spokesperson told us: “We are constantly assessing GR product that is available and what suits our market. As with any GR product that we do think is suitable for our market, it must bring a significant performance gain to be considered.”

We certainly think that the new Corolla GR will fit that bill.

According to a leaked presentation we reported on last week from a Toyota US dealer meeting (confirming the next-gen 86 timing), it doesn’t appear that there is a scheduled release date for the Corolla GR in the next year (in that market). 

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax, Carsales.com.au, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

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