Automatic ‘box heading for Toyota GR Corolla and GR Yaris

With speculation having grown since the release of the initial teaser image last year that the incoming Toyota GR Corolla will be fitted with an automatic gearbox, a new report from Japan has confirmed that the long awaited rival for the Volkswagen Golf GTI will offer exactly that.

Allegedly on track to debut around October and not next year according to a report by, the release of not only the mentioned image, but also a speculative report by Japan’s Best Car in January, suggested the self-shifter to be a type of CVT specially optimised for the G16E-GTS 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder the Corolla will share with the GR Yaris.

In confirming the transmission to Japan’s Car Watch though, Toyota’s Vice-Chairman, Shigeru Hayakawa, identified the ‘box as a model specific eight-speed torque converter automatic with paddle shifters destined not only for the Corolla, but also the Yaris.

Currently undergoing testing in test mules, as well as in the one-make Gazoo Racing Rally Challenge Hayakawa himself competes as part of his role as development driver for the transmission, the setup is said to be focused on efficiency as well as fast shifts without unnecessary delays.

ALSO READ: Toyota GR Corolla shows more of itself in new teaser

Commenting on the transmission, Toyota President, Akio Toyoda, told the publication that the self-shifting GR Yaris is completely different from the model equipped with the six-speed manual.

Describing the ‘box as “quite competitive”, Toyoda, who helped with the development of the GR Yaris under the alias Morizo, a pseudonym he is known to use frequently when racing, said the ‘box is being tested extensively and that it result in the GR Yaris still being a “terrific thing”.

Along with the gearbox, the GR Corolla will produce the same 200 kW as the Japanese-spec GR Yaris and feature the intricate four-wheel-drive system plus Gazoo Racing specific interior and exterior touches.

Expect more details to emerge over the coming weeks and month either officially, or in the form of leaks.

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