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Toyota GR Corolla hot hatch teased... again

Toyota's North American marketing team are having a great time teasing the GR Corolla hot hatch, ahead of an expected reveal soon.

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Mike Costello
Mike Costello
News Editor
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Toyota’s North American division has put out another teaser for the hotly anticipated GR Corolla, this time sneaking it into the end of an expensive new GR 86 commercial.

The majority of the frankly spectacular four-minute clip focuses on the new GR86 coupe cutting loose in an old shopping centre, before being joined by a Supra. But right at the end, the focus changes.

By jokingly calling for the resulting two-car rolling setup to become a “flying V”, the ad script opens the door to a brief teaser of the GR Corolla from the rear. Those LED tail lights are unmistakable.

The point is to build hype and anticipation, as Toyota expands its Gazoo Racing division as quickly as it can. Incidentally, these are the sorts of TVCs that find themselves banned in Australia.

It’s not the first GR Corolla teaser. In January this year it was revealed in a jump cut within a video for the then-upcoming GR 86 coupe.

Motor1 published this screenshot, revealing the upcoming Toyota GR Corolla expected to debut in the second half of 2022.

Based on the Corolla hatch, the teased GR Corolla was still obscured by camouflage but there looks to be a more aggressive-looking front end.

Overall, there’s likely to be a much closer resemblance between the GR Corolla and Corolla than with the GR Yaris and regular Yaris.

That’s perhaps not surprising given the GR Yaris is a homologation special that effectively mates the rear of a Corolla to a Yaris and, externally, shares only its headlights, tail lights and mirrors with the regular Yaris.

It’s unlikely the Corolla’s brief appearance in (and later removal from) that GR 86 video was an accident, as Toyota USA was even then running a rather esoteric teaser campaign.

The GR Corolla is expected to borrow the GR Yaris’s turbocharged 1.6-litre three-cylinder engine, and all-wheel drive.

The GR Yaris’ three-pot is tuned to deliver 200kW of power and 370Nm of torque, with a 220kW output expected for the GR Corolla.

MORE: Toyota GR Corolla teased, exterior revealed

In the GR Yaris, all of this is put to the road through a six-speed manual transmission and a sophisticated four-wheel drive system that can send 70 per cent of its torque to the rear axle. A manual seems likely for the GR Corolla.

That said, Toyota has been testing an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission in the GR Yaris. Featuring a planetary gear seat, it’s reportedly been developed with a focus on running fast, with quick and comfortable shifts not coming at the expense of fuel economy.

“I’m told that it’s okay to break it. I’ve already broken it once,” said Shigeru Hayakawa, vice chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation, who has been serving as the development driver for the new transmission and will race it in the 2022 season.

Toyota USA has been actively promoting the GR Corolla as it’ll be their first hot hatch in just over 30 years. The GR Yaris isn’t sold in North America and there are no plans to introduce it there.

We’d be surprised if the GR Corolla doesn’t come here given Toyota’s high-profile push of the Gazoo Racing sub-brand Down Under, which included sharp introductory offers for the GR Yaris.

A trademark filing for the GR Corolla was already filed in Australia in 2020, alongside one for the C-HR GR Sport that ended up being introduced locally.

MORE: Everything Toyota Corolla

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Mike Costello
Mike Costello
Mike Costello is the News Editor at CarExpert.
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