Toyota GR Corolla Adds A Transmission For Everyone

The changes to the GR Corolla mimic those already seen in Europe with the GR Yaris

Earlier this year, Toyota updated the GR Yaris in Europe. The changes brought more power (268 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque to 300 hp and 295 lb-ft), optional upgraded cooling, and general improvements to the car’s suspension and chassis rigidity. But most importantly, the GR Yaris received a new 8-speed torque-converter automatic that Toyota is calling the “Direct Automatic Transmission.”

In case you weren’t aware, the GR Yaris has by and large donated its drivetrain to the North American GR Corolla. See where this is headed? A dealer order guide posted to a GR Corolla owner’s forum seems to corroborate this (so long as the order guide is authentic). The guide is specifically for Canadian vehicles, but the GR Corolla is functionally identical across the border in the US as well, and it’s hard to see one car getting this new 8-speed without the other.

Mags via GR Corolla Forum

The guide specifies some further changes as well, including more torque (295 lb-ft), a new front bumper, a new sub-radiator, and further standard equipment for the Core trim. A new Premium trim will add more creature comforts as well. This trim mimics the US-market trim by the same name, adding features like a carbon-fiber roof, suede heated seats, a JBL sound system, wireless charging, and parking sensors. Pricing isn’t mentioned, and neither is a description of what the guide calls “Intelligent Clearance Sonar.” At a guess, it might be software to help you from scraping the Corolla’s nose.

Regardless, the arrival of an automatic is a big change-up for what was billed as a hardcore, rally-derived hot hatch. Toyota offered the Corolla exclusively with a six-speed manual since its debut, but an automatic will only broaden the appeal. Yes, you should get the stick if you’re able to work the clutch, but giving options to a greater pool of buyers will only help to keep the GR Corolla around. It’s a win-win if you ask us.

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The automatic transmission should attract more buyers.
Chase Bierenkoven
Chase Bierenkoven

Chase is an automotive journalist with years of experience in the industry. He writes for outlets like Edmunds and AutoGuide, among many others. When not writing, Chase is in front of the camera over at The Overrun, his YouTube channel run alongside his friend and co-host Jobe Teehan. If he's not writing reviews of the latest in cars or producing industry coverage, Chase is at home in the driver's seat of his own (usually German) sports cars.

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