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Forget the Subaru WRX STi: Toyota GR Corolla Sedan could be a new performance-car king

The Toyota GR Corolla Sedan could nearly fill the void left by the WRX STI. (image credit: X-Tomi Design)

The Subaru WRX STi might be gone (but not forgotten), but that only opens the door for Toyota to snatch its performance-sedan crown with a GR Corolla Sedan.

Subaru shocked the performance-car world in March when it confirmed there wouldn't be a STi variant of the new WRX. While the STi brand hasn't been killed off entirely, it won't return with petrol power again, and is again tipped to reappear some time in the future with an electrified powertrain.

"As the automotive marketplace continues to move towards electrification, Subaru is focused on how our future sports and performance cars should evolve to meet the needs of the changing marketplace and the regulations and requirements for greenhouse gasses (GHG), zero emissions vehicles (ZEV), and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ)," the brand said in a statement at the time.

"As part of that effort, Subaru Corporation is exploring opportunities for the next generation Subaru WRX STI, including electrification. In the meantime, a next generation internal combustion engine WRX STI will not be produced based upon the new WRX platform."

But one brand's loss is another's gain, with a possible sedan version of the GR Corolla a ready-made replacement for the performance-car fans.

Toyota has already unveiled the GR Corolla hatch, which is due in Australia later this year, and is powered by the brand's awesome 1.6-litre turbo-petrol three-cylinder engine that also appears in the GR Yaris.

But unlike its smaller sibling, the Corolla has had the power dialled up even further, producing a total output of 220kW/370Nm, fed to all four wheels via Toyota’s GR-Four all-wheel-drive system and a six-speed manual gearbox.

For the record, the STI delivered 221kW and 407Nm, which isn't too far off the Corolla's outputs.

The obvious problem, of course, is that the GR Corolla is, so far, offered in hatch form only. But that's a problem that's been rectified by graphic designer X-Tomi Design, who has reimagined the fire-breathing GR in sedan guise.

Toyota is yet to confirm a sedan body style for the GR Corolla, but with the WRX STi leaving a whole in the market, we can hope, right? Make it so, Toyota.