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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Self-shifting Toyota GR Corolla on the cards as demand increases

Should approval be given, expect the automatic GR Corolla to debut before year-end, although at present, this is purely speculative.

Although introduced on the facelift Toyota GR Yaris in January, a new report from Australia has indicated that the division’s eight-speed automatic gearbox could soon be offered on the model it was intended to debut with, the GR Corolla, due to buyer demand.

Buyer want the key

Back in 2022, it was reported that the ‘box, then still under development, would be rolled-out first on the GR Corolla and then the GR Yaris as a means of broadening the former’s appeal sold in more markets, such as the United States, where the latter isn’t available.

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As it turned out, the self-shifter premiered on the mentioned updated GR Yaris at the beginning of this year, leaving the GR Corolla as the only GR model without an automatic ‘box – an option long offered on the GR86 and until last year, the sole choice for the GR Supra.

According to drive.com.au, the six-speed automatic in the GR86 accounts for more than half of sales Down Under, suggesting a self-shifting GR Corolla could be introduced should demand warrant it.

New faced Toyota GR Yaris revealed
Facelift GR Yaris debuted the new eight-speed automatic gearbox in January this year. Image: Toyota

“Based on [sales data of auto GR Supra and GR86] representing over half of sales now, the data would indicate that people [would] gravitate to an auto if it was available,” Toyota Australia’s Head of Sales and Marketing, Sean Hanley, told the publication.

At the same time, Toyota Gazoo Racing President, Tomoya Takahashi, when asked about the likelihood of the GR Corolla going automatic, told the outlet, “if there is customer demand, maybe”.

Dropping dual-clutch

Known as DAT or Direct Automatic Transmission, the ‘box utilises a torque converter configuration rather than a dual-clutch Toyota says was done on purpose as a means of not only aiding efficiency, but also weight.

Toyota tipped to soon introduce automatic GR Corolla
New eight-speed DAT or Direct Automatic Transmission in the facelift GR Yaris. Image: Toyota

Tipping the scales at 18 kg more than the six-speed manual in the GR Yaris, the DAT sports predictive software based on the driver’s behaviour, which Toyota states allows it to shift and react quicker than a manual or even when using the paddle shifters in manual mode.

What about South Africa?

For the moment though, the gearbox remains exclusive, however, don’t be surprised if details confirming its availability in the GR Corolla emerges within the coming months.

Although still undated, both the DAT and facelift GR Yaris are known to be under consideration for South Africa.

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