Toyota has been hard at work getting us to care about Gazoo Racing, the automaker’s performance and motorsports arm, for the last few years. Think of it as Subaru’s STI division. They started with the new Toyota Supra, and now we may get a performance Toyota Corolla.
Back in 2018, Tetsuya Tada, the chief engineer behind the 86 and Supra, mentioned a performance Corolla had been requested by some markets and discussed. A year ago, Deputy Chief Designer Toshio Kanei hinted that a Corolla GR appearance package and a Corolla GRMN full performance model were coming, but there was no word on U.S. inclusion for that model.
But now, new trademarks in Australia suggest some new models are finally coming, from Road & Track:
A year ago, Toyota said it would eventually build performance versions of every car it makes. Two weeks ago, it trademarked three names in Australia: Corolla GR, C-HR GR-Sport and C-HR GR-S. We’re hoping this is the start of a full, sporty GR line, and we’re hoping they come stateside.
Around the same time a couple of weeks ago, Toyota applied for the “GRMN” trademark in North America.
Previous reports have indicated that the new hot Corolla would be a hatchback and come halfway through the current generation’s model cycle, so maybe we’ve only got another year or so to wait. A GR or GRMN version of the new Supra is also expected to show up in the next year, global crisis pending.
Having just debuted the incredible Yaris GR hatchback for markets outside the U.S., a rally special hot hatchback featuring a 1.6-liter, direct-injected inline-three cylinder engine making 268 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, I’m really hoping Toyota takes a hot Corolla just as seriously.