In case you might have missed it, Toyota introduced the “GR” sports car range last September in Japan where one could buy a sporty-ish Prius and even an upgraded minivan. The lineup encompasses a three-tier system, starting with the entry-level GR Sport, the mid-range GR, and the flagship GRMN. The only member of the GRMN subfamily for the time being is the supercharged Yaris, with the reborn Supra likely getting the “Gazoo Racing Masters of Nürburgring” treatment at some point.
The “GR” series is expected to further grow to include a hot version of the new Corolla Hatchback a.k.a. Auris depending on where you live. Speaking with Motoring, a senior exec at Toyota Australia was keen on the idea of a new hot hatch that would go up against the Ford Focus ST and the Volkswagen Golf GTI. Sean Hanley, vice-president of sales and marketing, was asked by the magazine whether he believes an amped-up Corolla would be successful Down Under: “Absolutely I do.”
Not only that, but Toyota’s representative went on to specify it’s a matter of when, not if, a member of the new Gazoo Racing sub-brand will arrive in Australia. The aforementioned Yaris GRMN is not one of them, but they’re thinking of “a really nice Corolla or other type of car.” While it’s too soon to know for sure when a Corolla Hatchback / Auris GR will see the light of production day, Hanley suggested it could be out in roughly three years from now:
“I’d like to see it as soon as possible, but in the next three years I wouldn’t rule out the possibility or probability of something coming under the Gazoo Racing brand.”
It’s worth mentioning he was referring strictly to an Australian launch, so other markets could get the model a bit sooner. If green-lighted for production, the hot hatch will likely pack more punch than the Yaris GRMN and its 209 horsepower and 184 pound-feet (250 Newton-meters) of torque. While GR is inferior when compared to GRMN, the Auris belongs to the segment above and needs more oomph to take on the more established names in its class. Beyond an upgraded engine, the GR would also feature a sportier body kit, stiffer suspension, bigger brakes, and a tweaked chassis, among other extras.