Toyota GR Corolla: Hot hatch appears all but confirmed with GR Yaris power

The Yaris GR's chief engineer strongly hinted that the powertrain could find its way to other GR-branded vehicles.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Special Edition
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2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Special Edition

Spice it up Toyota, bring it on.


Toyota seems to be having a grand time teasing something exciting for the hot hatchback segment for the US. And for the automaker's next act, the Toyota GR Yaris' chief engineers possibly confirmed what will power a GR hatch.

Speaking to Australia's CarsGuide Wednesday, Naohiko Saito, the GR Yaris' chief engineer, said using the car's powertrain in just one car would be a total waste. Instead, the turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-three engine and its all-wheel-drive system should make its way to "each of the other (GR) models." Granted, he began by saying it was his personal opinion, but the man behind the new hot hatch likely has a lot of sway when it comes to other go-fast Toyotas.

In addition to Saito's comment, Toyota has slowly started dropping hints about a hot for America. The automaker tweeted early last month that "perhaps it's time the US got a hot hatch to call its own." The tweet followed confirmation Toyota has a hot hatch waiting in the wings for the US. Play a little process of elimination, and it's definitely Corolla-based. This past Tuesday, the company once again dropped a hint as it revealed the 2021 Corolla Hatchback lineup saying the updates foreshadow "even more excitement still to come in the hatchback segment." Toyota declined to comment further on Saiko's statement.

So, if Saito gets his way, we're likely looking at a GR Corolla Hatchback with 268 horsepower and AWD. That's more than a Golf GTI and smack-dab in the middle of the Hyundai Veloster N's two power outputs. The base car comes with 250 hp, but options will unlock 275 hp. But let me just underscore that Toyota's powertrain is a tiny turbocharged inline-three engine. It's nuts.

2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Special Edition looks racy in red

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