With 296 horsepower, the first beefy Corolla since 2004 could dominate the hot hatch market

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Despite trends in the automotive industry, Toyota is hellbent on cracking through the norm and delivering fun cars that aren’t electric or riding on elevated suspension. In Europe, Toyota offers the GR Yaris, a 257-horsepower pocket rocket that offers zero hope of arriving Stateside, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to be left in the dark. Previous rumors have hinted that Toyota has plans to introduce a U.S.-bound Corolla GR to compete with the Volkswagen Golf GTI and the Hyundai Veloster N. Now, a new report from Car Sensor in Japan says that the Corolla GR will be even better than expected. How good? Well, pretty damn good.

How We Got Here – The Story of the 2022 Toyota GR Corolla

The Toyota GR Corolla Could Shame The Hyundai Veloster R and VW Golf GTi Exterior
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Following the introduction of the Toyota Corolla GR Sport, a car with 180 horsepower that aspires to be more than it really is, we learned that Toyota was planning to bring hotter Corolla GR Hatchback to the United States. At the time, however, it was expected to offer up just 257 horsepower, which wasn’t bad, but wouldn’t exactly give it a hard competitive edge. Especially when you’ve got cars like the Honda Civic Type R throwing down 306 horsepower. Moving on, Toyota was quick to tease a new hot hatch for the United States, shortly after Car and Driver threw out a rumor that a hot Corolla would arrive in 2022. The latest report, though, adds fuel to the fire and suggests that the Toyota GR could be a major contender in a small-ish niche.

The Toyota GR Corolla Could Put Shame To The Competition

The Toyota GR Corolla Could Shame The Hyundai Veloster R and VW Golf GTi
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The newest report about the Toyota GR Corolla suggests that it’ll be a four-door hatchback (aka five-door) and it’ll be powered by the same 1.6-liter three-banger that delivers 257 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque in the Toyota GR Yaris.

However, if that power gets the Yaris to 62 mph in 5.5 seconds and up to a top speed of 143 mph, it’s not going to do much for the larger Corolla GR.

Toyota Yaris GR specifications
Engine turbocharged, 1.6-liter three-cylinder
Horsepower 257 HP
Torque 265 LB-FT
0 to 62 mph 5.5 seconds
Top Speed 143 mph
The Toyota GR Corolla Could Shame The Hyundai Veloster R and VW Golf GTi Exterior
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And that’s where the meat and potatoes of this report comes into play. According to Car Sensor, the Corolla GR Yaris that’s landing here in the States will deliver a cool 296 horsepower – an improvement of 39 horsepower. Seem hard to believe? Well, it shouldn’t be because aftermarket tuners like Litchfield, for example, have already pushed the same engine in the Yaris up to 305 HP, so 296 is easily doable. Moving forward, the Corolla GR will be offered exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission and will include some exterior tweaks to make it more aerodynamic and more aggressive.

Toyota GR Corolla Power Comparison
Horsepower Torque (lb-ft)
Volkswagen Golf GTI 228 258
Hyundai Veloster N 275 260
Honda Civic Type R 305 295
Toyota GR Corolla 296 270
The Toyota GR Corolla Could Shame The Hyundai Veloster R and VW Golf GTi
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Should this latest report be legitimate, the Toyota GR Corolla will best most of its primary competition. With 296 ponies and an estimated 270 pound-feet of torque, the Volkswagen Golf GTI will look like a beginner’s car with its 228 horsepower and 259 pound-feet for torque. Even the Hyundai Veloster N will fall short by a handful of ponies at 275 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The only model that really stands a chance is the Honda Civic Type R, and it doesn’t exactly win by a large margin with its 305 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.

In terms of straight-line performance, the Corolla GR might not be quite as fast to 60 mph. It will most certainly beat the Golf GTI, which takes 5.9 seconds to hit the 60-mph benchmark, but the Veloster N can make it in 5.1 seconds while the Civic Type R has been recorded getting there as fast as 4.9 seconds. The GR Yaris can do it in around 5.4 seconds, so if Toyota Plays its cars right, it’s not impossible for the Corolla GR to make a five-second run to 60 mph.

The Toyota GR Corolla Will Be Priced To Compete….Hard

The Toyota GR Corolla Could Shame The Hyundai Veloster R and VW Golf GTi
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With this kind of performance possible, especially in a segment where making a profit can be hard, you might expect the Toyota GR Corolla to be expensive. That might not actually be the case, though. According to the aforementioned report, the GR Corolla will be priced somewhere between 3.5 million Yen and four million Yen.

As of the time of this writing, that computes to $32,395 on the bottom end and $37,021 on the high end.

Not bad, right? Well, if you consider that the Golf GTI will set you back between $28,695 and $36,945, the pricing scheme makes sense. The Veloser N is even with the low-end at $32,250 but the Civic Type R is a bit more expensive, starting out at $37,895 and climbing to as high as $43,995.

Toyota GR Corolla Price Comparison
Price
Volkswagen Golf GTI $28,695 - $36,945
Hyundai Veloster N $32,250
Honda Civic Type R $37,895 - $43,995
Toyota GR Corolla $32,395 - $37,021 (est)
The Toyota GR Corolla Could Shame The Hyundai Veloster R and VW Golf GTi Exterior
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Needless to say, if Toyota delivers a GR Corolla that can perform just as well, features materials that are on par, and stays within this rumored price point, it’ll become a strong proposition in a segment that could use something new. What do you think? Is a near-300-horsepower Corolla hatchback something you’d enjoy driving? Let me know in the comments section below!

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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