Toyota is teasing us again. Time after time, it’s dropped little hints about its upcoming GR-tuned Corolla (which is confirmed to be coming to the U.S.) but we’ve never yet to see the car in full. It’s always been hidden off to the side of an Instagram post, or photoshopped into the background of an Instagram post. Now, in a new GR86 ad, we’ve been treated to a full (if poorly-lit) dolly shot of the car’s rear end.
The ad in question is called The Focus Group, and it’s… fine. The driving scenes are fun, with Jhonnattan Castro behind the wheel of the Hachi while Fredric Aasbø and Ken Gushi give chase in their Formula Drift-spec Supras (Supræ?). The other parts, with people talking in a room, are less fun. See for yourself:
What we’re here to discuss, though, is that final shot. After treating viewers to an overhead shot of the two-car GR lineup, someone mentions that a proper drone shot requires three cars. Cue the Corolla tease.
The shot itself is dark, with the car in silhouette except the meager illumination from its tail lights. That red glow, though, is enough to see a bit of those wide rear fenders. Conveniently, it’s also enough to reveal some more details when the image is brightened up.
Since a YouTube screenshot isn’t exactly going to give us all the information of a RAW image, there isn’t a ton we can get out of this shot before losing everything to image compression. By boosting the shadows, though, we can see that the car in the photo is still wrapped in the white-and-red GR camouflage from its Instagram appearances.
The brightened photo also shows us some more of the car’s lines, with a clear shot of the roof, hatch spoiler, and — crucially — the tailgate. The edges of that hatch can be used to align a photo of the current production car, which can help us compare the differences.
At least, it could, if any straight-on rear shots of the Corolla Hatchback existed online. Apparently no one’s taken the shot we need, but a well-timed screenshot from a YouTube walk-around gets us close. The angles are imperfect, but we can start to make some educated guesses about the shape of the upcoming car.
The GR definitely looks wider, but not nearly as distinct from the base car as the GR Yaris. We’re expecting the heated-up ‘Rolla to sport the Yaris’s three-cylinder turbo mill and all-wheel-drive system, but its fenders don’t appear to have made the cut.
Toyota still hasn’t announced a reveal date for the GR Corolla, let alone a release date, but enthusiasts are chomping at the bit for more info. After Subaru’s refusal to build a current-generation STi, it’s open season for hot hatches — the perfect time for Toyota to enter the fray.