US-Bound Toyota Corolla Hot Hatch Could Offer 296 HP, Manual, AWD for Under $37K: Report

Though the sad news that we’d be denied Toyota’s hot homologation hatchback—the GR Yaris—stung pretty bad, the pain was later soothed by a rumor that its durable drivetrain would make it Stateside underneath the Corolla hatchback after all. The Corolla Sport GRMN, as we’ve heard it called, was rumored to get a mildly detuned 257-horsepower version of the GR Yaris’s turbo inline-three, a six-speed manual, and all-wheel drive. The engine might outperform those expectations, however, as a new report out of Japan claims Toyota will increase its power in the caliente Corolla.

In a brief report on the Corolla hot hatch, Japan’s Car Sensor reports Toyota has a “goal […] to improve performance” of its three-banger in the larger, heavier Corolla, and to that end “has set a goal of achieving 300ps”—which equals 296 horsepower. Additionally, the outlet reports some of the GR Yaris’s drivetrain programming will carry over, specifically the six-speed manual’s automatic rev-matching and its awd system’s adjustable torque split.

2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Special Edition

Furthermore, Car Sensor reports the Corolla hot hatch won’t just resemble the GR Yaris underneath, but partially in bodywork too, with widened fenders, a different front bumper, and unspecified aerodynamic tweaks.

Best of all, though, is what the publication claims to be the Corolla Sport GRMN’s price, which it reports is “expected to be priced at” ¥3.5 million to ¥4 million. That’s the equivalent of about $32,400 to $37,000, or the territory of the Hyundai Veloster N, and possibly that of the redesigned Subaru WRX. Such a price point might also make it more affordable than the new VW Golf R, not to mention about as drift-able given the GR Yaris’s max rear torque split of 70 percent.

Toyota is also alleged to have another sporting Corolla on the way in wagon form, though with a 2.0-liter hybrid drivetrain instead of the turbo three-cylinder. Exciting though it would be to see Toyota take on the next-gen, supposedly hybridized Honda Civic Type R, don’t get your hopes up for a Corolla wagon matching the Type R’s performance, let alone one making it to the States.

Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach them here: james@thedrive.com

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