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Surprise! Toyota Corolla Cross and Altis GR-S are now available in the PH

These are not the GR Corollas you were hoping for

Two new GR-S models join TMP's growing family. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

You didn’t see this coming, did you? Eagle-eyed readers might have spotted these two sharper-looking variants of the Corolla Altis and the Corolla Cross in some of our pictures from the brand’s recent HEV media drive.

Not to be confused with the recently announced GR Corolla, the two Corolla models in our market now come with their own GR-S model grades, bringing the grand total of GR-S cars in Toyota’s lineup to five different models.

Note: These are more than just cosmetic upgrades.

Subtle but impactful cosmetic changes give the Corolla Cross some much-needed oomph. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

First is the Corolla Cross GR-S.

We’ll start with the obvious. The front fascia gets overhauled with a new bumper and a reshaped grille that give it the appearance of a snarling animal. You also notice more aggressive skid plates on the front, side and rear bumpers. It also rides on new 18-inch wheels.

Topping it off (literally) is the black roof and mirrors. Those blue accents in the headlights are now gone, and clear Altezza-style taillights make an appearance once again.

The Corolla Cross's cabin receives restrained changes. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

New to this model grade is the addition of a powered rear tailgate with a kick sensor, leather upholstery, engine start/stop button, floor mats with the GR logo, and an upgraded suspension for sportier handling and sharper steering response.

Other than that, most of the features are similar to the 1.8V Hybrid. You’ll see the same Toyota Safety Sense features, and the hybrid powertrain has the same combined 121hp and 142Nm.

The current-generation Corolla Altis has always been a looker. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

Next is the Corolla Altis GR-S.

It’s based on the 1.6V CVT variant, so there is a 1.6-liter, in-line-four gasoline engine called the 1ZR-FE underneath the hood. It has 121hp and 153Nm, and is mated to a CVT. It also receives an upgraded suspension, too, so you will definitely feel the difference in the handling department.

If you’re wondering why the Hybrid model doesn’t have a GR-S model, don’t worry (it’s launching soon).

It receives a very sporty front bumper with a honeycomb pattern grille and angular vents. You can spot glossy black accents on the side mirrors and the grille surround. Other changes are subtle, like side skirts, a rear lip, and new 17-inch two-tone alloy wheels.

The Altis gets the sportier cabin of the two. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

The interior receives red contrast stitching, paddle shifters, a GR logo on the start-stop button, the headrests, and the floor mats. And the seats and the doorsills get red accents. Otherwise, it’s the same familiar Corolla Altis interior, but now with the newer eight-inch infotainment with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity.

It also receives Toyota Safety Sense, so features like a pre-collision system, automatic high beam, lane-tracing assist with steering assist, lane-departure alert, and dynamic radar cruise control are present.

Are you hoping for a Raize or Innova GR-S next? PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

As for the prices, the Corolla Altis GR-S will be available in Attitude Black, Red Mica Metallic, and White Pearl. It will cost P1,302,000 (with a P15,000 premium for White Pearl).

The Corolla Cross GR-S goes for P1,774,000, and will only be available in the two-tone White Pearl with a black roof finish.

It’s up to you if you feel that these vehicles are worth the premium over their non-GR-S counterparts, but this being more than just a racy cosmetic package might make a few think twice.

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.