A fresh report out of the United Kingdom claims Toyota will hand its C-HR crossover the full-fat GR treatment, creating a rival for Volkswagen’s T-Roc R.

According to Auto Express, the Japanese firm’s Gazoo Racing arm is hard at work developing a high-performance version of the C-HR (itself recently facelifted in South Africa), targeting a launch date of “before 2023”.

Of course, a GR Corolla hot hatch is also on the cards, reportedly set to employ a version of the turbocharged 1,6-litre three-cylinder petrol engine debuted by the 200 kW GR Yaris. And, according to this latest rumour, the GR-badged C-HR will use the same three-pot, although likely in a slightly detuned form.

On paper, that'd see the GR C-HR trailing its German foe. For the record, VW’s T-Roc R employs the Wolfsburg-based firm’s familiar turbocharged 2,0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, sending 221 kW and 400 N.m to all four corners via a seven-speed DSG transmission.

Auto Express quoted an unnamed “senior” Gazoo Racing executive as saying the three-cylinder engine “can be used in other applications” and that it “can be offered in more than one state of tune”. He added it was “not an engine that had to be built” for the GR Yaris to come into existence.

Toyota in Japan already offers a GR Sport version of the C-HR (as pictured above) in its domestic market but this variant features no under-bonnet fettling.