GR Sport leverages Toyotas Gazoo Racing involvement

GR Sport leverages Toyota's Gazoo Racing involvement

Toyota's UK arm is fast becoming the all-hybrid car company. Make that the all self-charging hybrid company as it has quietly been billing its 'lectrified models the last year or two.

The UK-built Corolla (nee Auris) has been updated for 2020 and is now an all-hybrid line with 1.8 and 2.0-litre powertrains and GR (Gazoo Racing) Sport and Trek (sponsorship) versions introduced. Apple Car Play and Android Auto smartphone integration is now standard on all models, too.

Toyota GB said 13,000 Corollas have been sold since the model's launch in March this year.

As with the C-HR, the 1.2T turbo petrol engine has been given the order of the boot. It's by no means a bad engine but TGB's decision makes sense - most buyers go hybrid and they've had a choice of electrified powertrains since the new Corolla line came out.

GR [the writer approves the nomenclature] Sport models include a sharper design for the lower centre bumper section, a wide honeycomb mesh pattern for the front grille and piano black surrounds for the grille and fog lights. There is a black insert in the rocker panels and the new 18-inch black alloy wheels have a contrasting bright machined finish to the tips of each spoke and red GR centre caps (17inch diameter wheels in the same design are featured on the Touring Sports model). At the rear there is a silver insert in the lower bumper, creating the look of twin tailpipes and a diffuser.

The finishing touches are black backgrounds for Toyota emblems on the bonnet and tailgate, official GR (Gazoo Racing) badging and the option of a new Ash Grey paint finish. The cabin is fitted with sports front seats, upholstered in fabric with a dedicated pinstripe pattern and with seatback and cushion bolsters finished in black and grey synthetic leather.

The equipment specification matches the Corolla Design grade but adds a new seven-inch colour TFT multi-information screen with 3D-effect graphics, and a colour head-up display. Other standard features include Safety Sense, LED headlights, smart entry, rear privacy glass, automatic wipers, auto-dimming rear-view mirror and power adjustable door mirrors with an auto folding function.

The new head up display measures 265 by 70.5mm and presents data in the driver's line of sight, even in bright light conditions. Brightness and the position of the display can be adjusted using controls on the steering wheel.

The new Corolla Touring [estate car/wagon] Sports Trek celebrates a partnership between Toyota and the internationally renowned bicycle manufacturer. It has an SUV-influenced look: the suspension has been raised by 20mm and special exterior styling details have been added, including black edging for the front and rear bumpers, silver-finished front and rear under-runs, black wheel arch mouldings and black rocker panels with silver inserts. There's a new machined/black contrast design for the 17-inch alloy wheels and Trek badging on the tailgate, plus rear privacy glass, a honeycomb-pattern grille and LED headlights.

The interior features further special detailing, including branded scuff plates, a special two-tone fabric upholstery and subtle wood-finish trim on the dashboard. The specification matches the regular Corolla Design grade, with the addition of a power tailgate with kick sensor. It also adopts the new Toyota multimedia system.

The Excel grade has been enhanced with the standard provision of sports seats with black leather upholstery and red accents. The Sports Touring adds the  hands-free power tailgate.

The saloon variant - revived as a proper hybrid to part replace the dead Avensis range at the lower end while the all-hybrid revived Camry covers the top - matches its Hatchback and Touring Sports stablemates by introducing Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone functions as standard on all versions. It's also now available with a new Scarlet Flare paint finish option. The saloon comes only with the 1.8-litre hybrid.

Most models are on sale and available for delivery now while GR Sport and Trek deliveries will commence in January 2020. Which now is only next month.

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