• Toyota South Africa reopened its Prospecton plant earlier in August 2022.
• The popular, locally-built Corolla Cross is back in production.
• A new GR-Sport model has been added to the range.
One of Toyota's most popular cars has become even hotter as the GR-Sport moniker finds itself on yet another model.
Toyota launched their highly-anticipated Corolla Cross in November 2021, and expectedly, it took off and sold like hot cakes. More than 1000 units were moved monthly until the devastating KwaZulu-Natal floods hit the automaker's Prospecton plant in April.
Toyota South Africa had just reopened its plant earlier in August, with the Corolla Cross finally being built again on its production line. With this news came the announcement of the new model added to the range.
The locally-built crossover became an instant success story and was crowned the 2022 South African Car of the Year (SA COTY).
Toyota says as part of the continued expansion of the Gazoo Racing (a.k.a. GR) brand, the Corolla Cross is the latest model to be adorned with the GR badge.
GR brand hierarchy
According to the automaker, the GR product hierarchy comprises four levels, represented as a pyramid. The first layer is GR Parts which allows customers to inject their standard model variant with GR flavour, followed by the GR-Sport moniker, which offers cosmetic and dynamic handling enhancements (Hilux and Land Cruiser 300). The third tier is occupied by fully-fledged GR performance models (GR86, GR Yaris, GR Supra), while the fourth and final layer is GRMN - which represents the highest level of performance tuning.
Corolla Cross GR-Sport (GR-S)
While there is no power increase on the Corolla Cross GR-S, it gets a bespoke exterior package, three bi-tone colour options with black-roof treatment, black 18" alloy wheels, GR badging and unique GR-themed interior accents.
But that's not all. Under the skin, revised suspension componentry and tuning are complemented by a recalibrated power steering module (EPS) to deliver more responsive handling, steering wheel feedback and cornering prowess, making it much more dynamic to drive.
The model employs the existing 1.8-litre 2ZR-FE petrol engine, coupled to a CVT transmission with seven pre-programmed 'steps' to simulate a close-ratio transmission in manual shifting mode, says Toyota.
Model Line-up and Pricing
The Corolla Cross 1.8i GR-S slots in just before the Hybrid range-topping model and has a price tag of R453 200. The automaker says the model specification aligns to the XR Grade with a small price premium for the GR enhancements.
All Corolla Cross models are sold with a six-services or 90 000km service plan (intervals set at 15 000km) and a three-year or 100 000km warranty. Service and warranty plan extensions can also be purchased from any Toyota dealer (220 outlets across the country).
All Toyota models come equipped with Toyota Connect, including a complimentary 15GB in-car Wi-Fi allocation, vehicle telematics and enhanced user features via the MyToyota app.