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"People would gravitate to auto": Toyota GR Corolla to gain automatic transmission according to internal documents for the VW Golf R and Honda Civic Type R rival - report

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Toyota GR Corolla.
Toyota GR Corolla.

Toyota’s about to broaden the appeal of one of its most convincing offerings when it comes to sports cars, according to leaked documents. GR’s own boss hinted the brand is set to introduce an automatic transmission to its GR Corolla earlier this year.

The question of whether the Toyota GR Corolla would gain an automatic gearbox option at some point has long been asked of the world’s largest car manufacturer, and now it seems the question is about to be answered.

The MY 2025 GR Corolla is set to be facelifted, according to what appears to be an internal Toyota document posted to the GR Corolla Forum, with the addition of an eight-speed automatic transmission.

It’s not just the forum posts that suggest a two-pedal GR Corolla is imminent, as Toyota GR’s own boss told Australian journalists recently an automatic transmission would make sense if the demand is there.

Gazoo Racing Company President Tomoya Takahashi visited Australia recently and he told CarsGuide via a translator, “if there is customer demand, maybe [an automatic transmission] will be developed” for the GR Corolla.

Toyota Australia Vice President for Sales and Marketing Sean Hanley said locally there is indeed customer demand.

“Based on the auto on the Supra and the 86, representing over half the sales now, data would indicate that people would gravitate to auto. If it was available,” Hanley said.

Given the GR Corolla’s drivetrain is closely related to that of the smaller GR Yaris, it would make sense that an automatic transmission would be similar across both models.

Toyota GR Corolla.
Toyota GR Corolla.

The leaked document posted to the GR Corolla Forum outlines North American market updates for the GR Corolla including a new Premium variant in which the automatic transmission will be available.

New 18-inch matte black alloys, a head-up display, two-zone climate control and a sub-radiator to improve engine cooling are all on the cards for the Premium, while heated steering wheel and brake cooling ducts will become standard on the Core base model.

The automatic version of the Premium will come with paddle shifters and radar cruise control, though all variants appear to be set for a torque increase from the turbocharged 1.6-litre three-cylinder engine.

The engine’s 370Nm output will rise to 400Nm, the same as the limited-edition Morizo version, while power remains 224kW for the North American version. Toyota Australia claims a 221kW output here.

Chris Thompson
Racing video games, car-spotting on road trips, and helping wash the family VL Calais Turbo as a kid were all early indicators that an interest in cars would stay present in Chris’ life, but loading up his 1990 VW Golf GTI Mk2 and moving from hometown Brisbane to work in automotive publishing in Melbourne ensured cars would be a constant. With a few years as MOTOR Magazine’s first digital journalist under his belt, followed by a stint as a staff journalist for Wheels Magazine, Chris’ career already speaks to a passion for anything with four wheels, especially the 1989 Mazda MX-5 he currently owns. From spending entire weeks dissecting the dynamic abilities of sports cars to weighing up the practical options for car buyers from all walks of life, Chris’ love for writing and talking about cars means if you’ve got a motoring question, he can give you an answer.
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