Toyota has finally come to its senses and created a Golf-sized hatchback that’s actually worth getting excited about.
The new Auris (also badged Corolla hatchback in some markets) certainly looks like a hot hatch and it has a lower centre of gravity. Built on Toyota’s new TNGA platform, torsional rigidity has improved by 60 percent and Toyota has also invested in a proper multi-link rear suspension. All the ingredients one needs to produce a decent hot hatch, except for one thing…
The most powerful version announced so far is a hybrid with a system output of 132kW, which should prove effortless and economical, but with all that’s been invested in making it sportier and more dynamic, it would surely be a waste not to produce a GTI rival with some serious grunt. Afterall, the boys at Toyota’s Gazoo Racing division have already produced the WRC-inspired Yaris GRMN, and their fingers are surely itching at the prospect of a hotter Yaris.
Although no formal announcements have been made as yet, speculation has been rife on the interwebs and a now Toyota executive from Australia has hinted that such a project is certainly in the works.
In an interview with Motoring.com.au, Toyota Australia’s Sean Hanley hinted that something along those lines could not be ruled out - for launch within the next three years - adding that he’s like to see it “as soon as possible”.
“We’re excited about GR and the possibility it brings in terms of product offerings in the future,” he enthused.
But what would power this hotter Auris?
The Yaris GRMN has a 1.8-litre supercharged petrol engine rated at 156kW and 250Nm.
That kind of power wouldn’t quite cut it in the hot hatch market, particularly with many contenders pushing over 200kW.
Toyota has also invested in a brand new direct injection normally aspirated 2-litre petrol engine - which will power many Toyotas including the new Auris in certain markets - and given the upmarket positioning of the new Auris, Toyota would surely want to use a more sophisticated base engine such as that.
But would Toyota actually turbocharge the new 2-litre? That would be our guess, but then that its pure speculation.