Despite the car’s success in the UK, where more than 13,000 examples have already been sold since the car launched in March, the Japanese manufacturer is discontinuing the entry-level 1.2-litre petrol engine, leaving the car with hybrid power alone. The 1.8-litre, 120 bhp hybrid is soldiering on, and it will be joined by a new 2.0-litre, 181 bhp hybrid powertrain already seen in the new C-HR.
But that is not the only change to the range for the new year. Prospective Corolla buyers will also be faced with the choice of two new variants in 2020: one a sporty model; the other a rugged, “SUV-influenced” version.
The sportier model is called the GR Sport, and it has been breathed on by Toyota’s Gazoo Racing motorsport team, gaining a more aggressive image and a race-inspired cabin. It gets some new tech, too.
Externally, the car is marked out by its wide honeycomb mesh grille and piano black surrounds for the fog lights. There are new 18-inch alloy wheels, too, featuring red GR centre caps, and a silver insert in the lower bumper, giving the impression of twin tailpipes and a diffuser, even though neither feature is present.
The GR Sport also comes with black backgrounds for the Toyota emblems on the bonnet and tailgate, as well as official GR badging and a new optional paint colour called Ash Grey. The same accoutrements also feature on the GR Sport Sports Touring estate, although the more practical model has to make do with smaller 17-inch alloys.
Inside both cars you'll find sports front seats, finished in fabric upholstery with a pinstripe pattern and black and grey bolsters with synthetic leather. The car also gets Toyota’s latest-generation infotainment system.
Because the GR Sport is essentially based on the mid-range Design trim, the car gets much the same equipment, but it adds a new seven-inch information screen and a colour head-up display to the mix. Other standard features include LED headlights, keyless entry and rear privacy glass.
In contrast to the GR Sport, Corolla customers will also get the option of the new Trek variant (above), which arrives as part of a tie-up with bike maker Trek. Raised by 20 mm over the standard car, it gets bulky trim around the arches, bumpers and sills to create an off-road look, while there’s a new 17-inch alloy wheel design and Trek branding to finish the look.
Inside, the Trek comes with Trek-branded scuff plates, model-specific two-tone fabric upholstery and a wood-finish trim for the dashboard. Like the GR Sport, the Trek is based on the Design model, but it adds the new Toyota multimedia system and a powered tailgate with a ‘kick’ sensor for hands-free boot access.
The new Corolla GR Sport is now available to order in the UK with deliveries scheduled to begin in January 2020.