Here’s something to look forward to: another fast Toyota coming to local showrooms. And unlike the GR Yaris that it shares plenty with, this one isn’t a limited run (25,000 units) homologation special. Of course we’re talking about the GR Corolla.
The all-wheel drive mega hatch is essentially a widened, snarling evil twin to the standard 12th-generation E210 Toyota Corolla, albeit in 5-door hatch guise instead of the 4-door sedan that Malaysians are familiar with.
Engineered with the automaker’s Gazoo Racing division, the GR Corolla was first unveiled back in late March and was tipped to be focused on gaining traction in the North American market in part since the region missed out on the GR Yaris.
Having not specified a production cap, Toyota seems happy to manufacture as many GR Corollas as customers are willing to buy.
It essentially transplants the GR Yaris’s 1.6-litre G16E-GTS 3-cylinder turbocharged engine and clever GR-Four all-wheel drive system into the larger C-segment form factor, though power has been further boosted to 300PS and 400Nm. Power is transmitted exclusively via a 6-speed manual transmission.
Aside from its native Japan, subsequent news that it will be also be headed for sale in other right-hand drive markets such as Australia and New Zealand opened the door to the car being sold in Europe and other parts of Asia, including the ASEAN countries. Now, it seems that’s exactly what’s happening.
According to AutoIndustriya based in the Philippines, a Thai media source says that the GR Corolla could see a launch there within 2022 starting with just 10 units, likely coinciding with the Thailand International Motor Expo scheduled for early December.
On our end, Carlist.my can also confirm hearing industry indications that a Malaysian launch isn’t too far behind, perhaps even as early as the first quarter of 2023. However, narrowing down the car’s local debut to a specific month isn’t yet possible, nor is it possible to speculate on the batch allocations.
Aside from the GR Corolla, UMW Toyota is also rumoured to be close to launching the 2nd-generation of their coupe co-developed with Subaru, the GR86, just as many other distributors in the region are pushing to offer the full Toyota GR line-up. The GR Supra is also slated for a local update following its public reinvigoration after the addition of a 6-speed manual option.
In an age of SUV ubiquity and EV evangelism, it’s both exciting and heartwarming that so much interest has been shown across continents in exciting cars like these select Toyota models. Of course, we’ll bring you more as new information arises.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.