At the Australian launch of the Toyota GR Corolla, Chief Engineer Naoyuki Sakamoto told GoAuto that GR models like the GR Corolla and GR Yaris, which are currently available with a manual transmission only, could gain an automatic option.
“It’s possible. We are testing an automatic transmission in the GR Yaris for the Japanese rally team,” said Sakamoto.
“We have joined the rally series with a GR Yaris with automatic transmission, and with each rally if we find some issues, we improve it. Such kind of activity is the central idea of the GR company – always from motorsports development,” he said.
He added that if the automatic transmission is suitable for the GR models, it can be applied in the GR Yaris, GR Corolla or other GR models.
Also read: 8AT Toyota GR Yaris inches closer to reality as first impressions from Japanese media are out
“The automatic transmission needs to be good enough for the sportscar, not just easy driving. That is a minimum requirement for the GR model. So if we can’t achieve that, maybe we have to give up,” he added.
Also read: Yours for only RM 355k: Toyota GR Corolla launched in Malaysia - 300 PS/370 Nm, 6MT
To recap, the Toyota GR Corolla features the same G16E-GTS 1.6-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged engine found in the GR Yaris, fettled to make 300 PS/370 Nm. Drive goes to all four wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission only, for now.
In Malaysia, the Toyota GR Corolla is priced at RM 355,000.
Also read: Scalpers not allowed! Toyota Australia to screen GR Corolla buyers before approving sale