Toyota USA grabbed a lifestyle press image of the Corolla and turned it into a teaser for the GR Corolla that we expect will come to the U.S. next year. The automaker posted the photo on Instagram way back in October, it is now coming to light thanks to the GR Corolla Forum. A few Easter eggs make clear what Toyota is pointing to, starting with the G:16 readout in the instrument cluster where the photo shows a time of 3:30. The alphanumeric refers to the G16E-GTS engine in the GR Yaris sold elsewhere, a turbocharged three-cylinder engine with 268 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. It's the most powerful production three-cylinder in the world.
Speaking of which, the climate control screen reads 72 degrees for the passenger, with the 7 obscured by the steering wheel, and 68 degrees for the passenger. That leaves 268 visible. This was thought to refer to the output of the GR Yaris as a possible clue to the output we'd get in the States. But the climate control settings haven't been changed from the original photo; Toyota sets the HVAC in many of its U.S. press photos to 68 and 72 degrees. In Europe, the displays usually read 19 and 21 degrees Celsius. The last report we saw out of Japan claimed the engine would be tuned to a ludicrous 296 horsepower for the U.S.
The navigation display has been changed to show a GR Road, perhaps merely a reference to the model, perhaps a reference to the GR Yaris' all-wheel-drive system with an electronically-controlled center differential and a Torsen LSD at the rear, with another optionally fitted to the front. We're inclined to think the full-fat system won't make it here, being overkill for the hatchback trim we'll get, both tuned more for the road than the WRC-aping GR Yaris.
The final tell is the camouflaged hatchback in the background, which we expect would be the GR Corolla itself. The only item amiss in this photo is the automatic transmission shift lever. We're anticipating a six-speed manual, but we suppose Toyota can't give everything away just yet with the GR Corolla not expected until late next year as a 2023 model.