Trademark applications are gradually becoming a valuable source of information about future products a car manufacturer is planning. Take for example Toyota, which recently registered “GR Hilux” to signal a potential Ford Ranger Raptor competitor said to have a punchy V6 diesel. Speaking of engines, a new “I-Force Max” could be in the works if we were to rely on another trademark application.
Not only that, but it seems a GR Corolla could be on its way based on a recent trademark filing with the Australian Government agency that administers intellectual property. As shown below, Toyota filed for the trademark about two weeks ago, on 17 March, and it’s now waiting to see if the company’s request will be accepted or not by the authorities. The application was filed in Class 12, reserved for “Motor vehicles; motor vehicle engines; parts, panels, and accessories for motor vehicles; glass panels for motor vehicles; motor vehicle windows.”
Reports of a GR Corolla have been swirling around the Internet for quite a while, even though Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia’s VP of sales and marketing, said not long ago that a hot hatch isn’t coming out anytime soon. The rumour mill indicates a VW Golf GTI rival from Japan would be powered by the same turbocharged three-cylinder 1.6-litre engine inside the GR Yaris. In the performance supermini, it develops a healthy 257 bhp and 266 pound-feet (360 Newton-metres) of torque. The GR Yaris is actually all-wheel drive and utilises a six-speed manual gearbox, so it’s shaping up to be real hoot.
“GR Corolla” is not the only trademark application made by Toyota with the Australian bureau as “C-HR GR-Sport” was filed on the same day. The entry-level GR Sport trim is positioned below the mid-level GR and the range-topping GRMN in the company’s performance lineup. In Japan, the C-HR GR Sport was revealed in October 2019 with an assortment of visual tweaks and minor mechanical upgrades for the suspension and steering.
As a final note, it’s worth reminding you that Toyota has pledged to do a performance version of practically everything it sells. With even the Hilux getting the Gazoo Racing treatment sooner or later, the company appears to be living up to that bold promise. At home in Japan, there are already a plethora of GR-tuned cars, including the Prius and the Noah MPV.