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High-performance versions of the Toyota Corolla are coming

by Ben Hsu

But not to the US market.

The Toyota Corolla could soon see a high-performance version, possibly under the company's Gazoo Racing banner. Moreover, it would not utilize a hybrid powertrain, as previously believed, but a pure internal-combustion mill.

According to the Dutch site AutoRAI, Toyota's deputy chief designer Toshio Kanei confirmed that sportier Corollas would arrive in two steps. First, a 180-horsepower variant called the Corolla GR, equipped with Toyota's so-called 2.0 High Power Hybrid drivetrain, is already on its way to the Geneva Motor Show next month.

Following that might be a Corolla GRMN, which Kanei says Toyota is working on. In fact, Toyota's Gazoo Racing division is supervising its development, and that the project is currently in the planning stage. Kanei said for certain that the engine on this car would not be a gasoline-electric hybrid. "We want more power, an even sportier engine and lower CO2 emissions... A four-cylinder turbo engine with an engine capacity of about 1.6 liters can be interesting,” he told AutoRAI.

That seems a bit understated, as Toyota already offers a Yaris with a supercharged 1.8-liter engine good for 209 horsepower. Why not just drop that motor into the Corolla? However, whatever transpires, like the Yaris GRMN it likely won't be available for the US market.

Image by Ronan Glon.

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