The development work has already been done.
The embargo for the GR Corolla has finally lifted, which means we're allowed to tell you that the standard car is superb. The limited edition lightweight Morizo is even better, but that's to be expected from a car named after the CEO's racing nickname.
We have some more GR-related news, but it's bittersweet. The GR Yaris is getting the more powerful 1.6-liter three-cylinder engine used in the GR Corolla Morizo Edition. Both cars use the same 1.6-liter turbocharged triple, and in the Yaris, it produces 257 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. In the Morizo, the power is dialed up to 300 hp and 295 lb-ft.
The bad news is that the tiniest GR will likely never cross the pond, and most models will be sent directly to the UK.
Gazoo Racing's chief engineer, Naoyuki Sakamoto, confirmed the development work in a recent interview with Autocar. The development work was actually done right in front of the public. The GR Corolla's powertrain was carried out by modded GR Yaris racing cars in the Super Taikyu race series in Japan.
The hardcore GR Yaris will also carry the Morizo name. Is Toyota confirming that all hardcore versions of its GR products will carry the Morizo moniker? If so, will there be a Supra Morizo?
Sakamoto confirmed that the Yaris has enough space for the close-ratio gearbox used in the 'Rolla Morizo. The only thing the platform can't cope with is the exhaust system, but Toyota has more than enough money to develop a new lightweight system.
Why lightweight? Because the rest of the car will be. The GR Corolla weighs 3,249 pounds and is hugely entertaining. The standard GR Yaris weighs 427 lbs less with a curb weight of 2,822 lbs. Toyota thinks there's room for improvement, however. Like its larger sibling, the GR Yaris Morizo Edition will chuck its rear seats and most comfort features out the door. It will only keep a basic infotainment system and single-zone climate control.
Thanks to this insane focus on lightness, the Yaris Morizo will get to 60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds and will easily exceed more than 155 mph.
Sakamoto admitted that while the development work has been done, the car is still waiting for approval from the higher-ups. Given the roll Toyota is currently on, we'd be surprised if it didn't get the go-ahead.
Toyota is also working on a less hardcore Yaris GR, as it's currently oddly placed within its own little niche. If Toyota detunes the engine and drops the AWD system, it would compete more closely with cars like the Polo GTI and Ford Fiesta ST.
Akio Toyoda certainly made good on his promise of never building boring cars again. Who could have predicted that Toyota would build rally-bred homologation specials ten years ago? Even more importantly, who could have predicted that the Japanese giant, famous for creating reliable (boring) cars, would end up as one of the saviors of the manual gearbox?