Rumor: Toyota GR Corolla Could Be A True Hard-Charging Hot Hatch With AWD, Around 300 Horsepower

Toyota's breathing some more life back into hot hatches

Toyota GR Corolla Sport
Toyota’s hottest Corolla will undoubtedly look more dramatic than this, but this “GR Sport” model at least offers a somewhat sporty look at the future. (Images: Toyota)

Some hope for the GR Corolla? We hope this is true.

A little while back, Toyota decided to join the modern hot hatch game with the GR Yaris. It’s even coming to Mexico with 257 horsepower from its tiny 1.6-liter turbo engine, for crying at loud. Our friends are crying over at Motor Trend and so are we. Damn it Toyota, why can’t we have a hot hatch to call our own!?

Well, the automaker did throw us a bone of sorts when the GR Yaris first burst onto the scene. The news wasn’t that we were getting that car — and to be fair, I can see why…we Americans don’t exactly flock to small cars — but the U.S. would get a “hot hatch to call its own“. We took that to mean the obvious GR Corolla, but it’s hard to say what exactly Toyota has in mind. That’s because we’ve heard crickets since then, but now there’s a new rumor floating around that gives hot hatch lovers (and I do consider myself part of that diehard faction) a glimmer of hope. Are you sitting down? Not only are we getting a GR Corolla, but it will have even more power than the pocket rocket GR Yaris.

If the Yaris is any indication, Toyota’s not screwing around with its hot hatch ambitions.

According to the Japanese Car Sensor site (as first covered over here by The Drive), the new GR Corolla could produce in the region of 300 PS. Now, convert that from metric, and that works out to 296 horsepower, which is a boatload from a little 1.6-liter mill. Even better, all that grunt comes yoked to a six-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive. That doesn’t just put the hot Corolla in the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Hyundai Veloster N‘s back yard, but also in Golf R, Subaru WRX STI and Civic Type R territory.

Car Sensor also posits the GR Corolla will land somewhere in the 3.5 million to 4 million yen range. In the U.S., that translates to somewhere in the mid to upper-$30,000 range, making it by far the most expensive Corolla on the block. It’s all about perspective though, and with about 300 horsepower that price wouldn’t run afoul of its main rivals. It’s a bit pricier than your “standard” hot hatches, but not quite as pricey as, say, a Civic Type R.

From an enthusiast’s perspective, I just hope the Corolla lands in the U.S. period. Ultimately, we’ll have to wait and keep our ears to the ground for more official word. For now, fingers are crossed that this rumor filtering its way out of Japan rings true in the next year or so.