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Toyota Executives Hint At A Potential GR Corolla Automatic

Key Takeaways

  • Toyota executives hint at the possibility of an automatic GR Corolla.
  • Sales data for other models suggests that the majority of buyers prefer an automatic transmission.
  • Adding an automatic to the GR Corolla would be relatively straightforward as it shares multiple components with the GR Yaris, which is now available with an auto.

The Toyota GR Corolla is one of the best hot hatches money can buy. While we’re delighted that it comes with three pedals and a six-speed manual, the lack of an automatic has hindered its appeal somewhat. But that may soon change, with Toyota executives hinting at a potential automatic GR Corolla, reports Drive.

At an Australian media briefing, journalists asked Toyota Gazoo Racing President Tomoya Takahashi if an automatic is in the cards for the GR Corolla. “If there is customer demand, maybe,” said Takahashi-san. Based on Australian sales of the GR Supra and GR86, it would appear that there is a strong demand for automatic-equipped performance cars.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla

Base MSRP

$35,900

Engine

1.6L Turbo Inline-3 Gas

Horsepower

300 hp

Fuel Economy

28/37 MPG

The Sales Figures Don’t Lie

“Based on [sales data of the auto GR Supra and GR86] representing over half of sales now, the data would indicate that people [would] gravitate to an auto if it was available,” said Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia’s head of sales and marketing. Hanley added that 51.5% of Australian GR86 buyers have opted for an automatic transmission.

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We’re guessing that adding an automatic option to the GR Corolla wouldn’t be that difficult. After all, Toyota added an eight-speed auto ‘box to the updated GR Yaris. Known as the Gazoo Racing Direct Automatic Transmission, the automaker has fine-tuned the gearbox for performance driving. “Where conventional gearshifting relies on sensing vehicle behavior, such as deceleration, G-force, and speed, the new transmission’s optimized software is also finely tuned to sense how the driver is using the brakes and accelerator,” said the manufacturer at the time.

2024 Toyota GR Corolla rear view
Toyota 

GR Corolla Automatic Is A Possibility

The GR Corolla and GR Yaris are powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter three-cylinder (known as the G16E-GTS), share the same all-wheel-drive setup, and are underpinned by the TNGA platform. As such, adding an auto version to the GR Corolla lineup would be relatively easy. Enthusiasts may scoff at the idea, but many gearheads are unable to drive a manual. Those who use their cars daily may like the idea of a self-shifter but can’t be bothered to put up with it during heavy traffic.

Related

Why The Toyota GR Yaris (And GR Corolla) Will Be Even Better With An Automatic Gearbox

It’s what people want.

Should a Toyota GR Corolla automatic reach American shores, it would join the GR Supra and GR86, both offered with manual or auto gearboxes. Interestingly, the standard Corolla is no longer available with a manual transmission. The automaker discontinued it in late 2022 after just 1.7% of Corolla customers opted for the three-pedal layout. CarBuzz has contacted Toyota USA for additional information on a potential GR Corolla automatic.

Source: Drive

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