We’ve known for a while that Toyota is cooking up a GR Corolla hot hatch, thanks in large part a trademark filing for the ‘GR Corolla’ name in 2020. Plus, we’ve been fairly certain it’ll share a 1.6-litre inline-three turbo engine and an all-wheel drive system with the small but mighty GR Yaris. All of that seems to have been confirmed by one Easter egg-strewn social media post featuring a normal Corolla’s cabin.
It came out nearly a month ago on Toyota USA’s Instagram page with the caption “Keep them guessing,” but has gone largely unnoticed until recently. The GR Corolla forum spotted all of the references, of which there are quite a few.
First off, the clock on the digital instrument cluster reads ‘G:16’. This could be interpreted as a nod to the ‘G16E-GTS’ engine originally developed for the GR Yaris. Meanwhile, the power output of that triple seems to be shown in the dual-zone climate control - the left portion is partly blocked, showing only a 2, while the left is at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Shove ‘em together, and you get 268.
The next one isn’t quite so cryptic, but you do need to be looking closely to see it. Take a peek at the sat nav, and you’ll see a road called ‘GR-Four’, the brand name for the GR Yaris all-wheel drive system.
Finally, a camouflaged test mule is lurking in the side window, and although the resolution is too low to know for sure, it does look Corolla-shaped. The livery is also similar to the one used for GR Yaris prototypes.
Although the Corolla is a larger, heavier car than the Yaris, a hot version with all of those parts has the potential to be a very interesting proposition indeed. A GR Corolla will have much more competition than the GR Yaris, with a plethora of strong C-segment hot hatches to do battle with, but we certainly wouldn’t bet against it given the ingredients.
Would you have one over something like a VW Golf GTI or Hyundai i30 N?