Toyota's GTI rival may finally be in the cards.
The all-new 2019 Toyota Corolla hatchback is a huge improvement in terms of style and Toyota made this Corolla more fun to drive than the outgoing car. Still, the only engine option is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing 168 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque - not exactly hot hatch material. The Japanese market does receive its own turbocharged sports version as well as a hybrid, but those produce even less power than the US-market car. Fortunately for enthusiasts, Drive reports that Toyota is currently mulling over a sportier Corolla with hybrid power.
Corolla chief engineer Yasushi Ueda said that Toyota was seriously considering expanding the Corolla lineup with a hot version. He went on to say that although most hot hatchbacks use turbocharged power, a hybrid drivetrain “sounds very good to me. I have to consider that, I have to investigate, research.” While Ueda did say “We don’t have any detailed plan yet," he did hint that "in the future, the idea of a hot hybrid sounds very good.”
Although we may not see a sporty Corolla right away, Ueda did give us a good idea of what we could expect from a Corolla hot hatch. It was strongly hinted that the hybrid Corolla would take advantage of its TNGA architecture, which has the ability to accept all-wheel-drive. A hot hatchback version of the Corolla with Volkswagen GTI-level performance and excellent fuel economy sounds like a win-win. Please Toyota, make it so.