Us in Europe (ish) were sad to find that the potent Toyota GR Corolla wasn’t coming to our side of the pond when it was released. But our patience has been rewarded as Gazoo Racing chief engineer Naoyuki Sakamoto has admitted to AutoCar that the powerful 300 horsepower powerplant from the hot hatch will be making its way into the GR Yaris for the European market.
The engine will be making its way from the Morizo Edition of the Corolla. It’s a turbocharged, three-cylinder, 1.6-litre motor creating 300 horsepower. This is 43 horses more than the English GR Yaris. The new car will also get the six-speed manual gearbox which has shorter gear ratios meaning high acceleration but a lower top speed – something we’re really not interested in anyway.
The car may also undergo a number of dramatic weight saving changes, including losing the rear seats and fancy features such as dual-zone climate control.
Sakamoto has also hinted that an automatic version of the car is under development with an 8-speed gearbox and a torque converter. It will have a manual shifting mode with paddles behind the wheel like any other automatic sport/supercar.
Details behind the release of the car are few and far between, but the GR Corolla starts at a price of $36,995 in the States with the Circuit Edition starting at $43,995 that includes a number of performance-enhancing features such as a carbon fibre roof and limited-slip differentials front and back.
The Morizo Edition is the top spec of the bunch. Starting at $50,995 it gets more torque, and carries less weight with the rear seats, speakers, window regulators, and wipers removed. 200 will be built in the first year, making these a very rare car.