Updated: Apr 9, 2022
Enthusiasts rejoice! After so many teasers, Easter eggs, and uncertainty of a Toyota GR Corolla even coming into existence, we can all finally breathe a sigh of relief as it has finally been revealed. Anyone with a smart phone probably already knows about the extremely awesome Toyota GR Yaris, an AWD mini-hot hatch with a turbo 3-cylinder that punches well above its weight; but it's only available overseas...and in Mexico. The same hair-raising performance of the GR Yaris is making its way into the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla that will be released later this year, a slightly bigger package but with extra features; a global performance product from the brand we all love.
The G16E-GTS 1.6 Liter 3-cylinder turbocharged engine is making a big splash as it premiers in the GR Corolla with 300 horsepower and 273 lb-ft. of torque, up 28 horsepower from the GR Yaris. That powerful, yet compact engine is mated to a six-speed manual and the GR-Four-All-Wheel-Drive system that allows drivers to select from 50/50,60/40, and 30/70 front/rear split. The drivetrain also features front and rear Torsen limited slip differentials for maximum handling capability while it handles the grip of the 18 inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires. At each corner are black fifteen-spoke 18 inch cast alloy wheels which faintly disguise the hefty brakes, 14 inch ventilated and slotted rotors upfront paired with 4-piston aluminum calipers, and 11.7 inch rear rotors with 2-piston calipers. Built on the GA-C platform, the GR Corolla features Macpherson front struts with a double wishbone setup out back that is sure to make for very capable handling, wherever you should take your Gazoo Racing machine.
Performance isn't just under the hood or at each corner of the vehicle, aerodynamics play a major factor and Gazoo Racing didn't hold out. As the chassis was already widened and stiffened, the exterior had to match the new dimensions with protruding rear haunches, wider front fenders, and canards to channel air from front to rear. Airflow is also maximized by the shape of the new front bumper that moves air above the roofline, this is coupled with the various ducts on the hood, fenders, and rear bumper that increase downforce with the flat floor which also reduces drag.
Inside of the cockpit of the all-new GR Corolla are amazing features that will keep drivers focused and comfortable. A full TFT meter plays an integral part along with the 12.3 inch Multi-Information Display that comes with a GR meter, 4WD mode, boost gauge, gear position indicator, and tachometer. A GR leather-wrapped steering wheel has all of the controls needed to access relevant car information and media, this goes with the short shifter that makes changing gears as quick as possible with positioning just below the steering wheel; and for those looking to have a bit of extra fun a pull-type mechanical parking brake is standard. A push-start button is standard on the GR Corolla, along with aluminum sport pedals, lighted foot wells, two USB charging ports, and both front and rear console storage. The all-new Toyota Audio Multimedia system is also featured with an 8-inch touchscreen that has all of the goodies you have come to love like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and voice control. Now it gets interesting when we look at a few more options and the seats themselves, but we'll detail this just below as the GR Corolla comes in two trim levels, Core and Circuit Edition.
The GR Corolla Core trim comes in white, black, and Supersonic Red. The exterior has color keyed roof and rear lip spoilers, an aluminum hood, gloss-black heated mirrors, and color keyed shark fin antenna. Inside, the Core comes with black and silver accents throughout, fabric sport seats with gray stitching and GR badged headrests, 6-way adjustable driver's seat with suede sheet seatback pocket; and a 4-way adjustable front passenger seat with seatback pocket. The GR Corolla has extra features that are optional:
Performance package: Includes front and rear Torsen Limited Slip Differentials (LSD).
Technology package: Includes Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation and JBL® w/Clari-Fi®, and Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging.
Cold Weather Package: Includes heated front seats and heated steering wheel.
The Circuit Edition will be released in 2023, and for that year only in just three colors, white, Supersonic Red, and an exclusive Heavy Metal Grey. On the outside the difference from the Core are apparent with a forged exposed carbon roof, vented hood, larger rear spoiler, gloss black ducts, red painted brake calipers, and integrated LED fog lamps. Performance remains the same on both trim levels albeit with the Torsen front and rear limited slip differentials as standard for the Circuit Edition, but inside the cockpit are a few special differences, the first are the black and red trim details, Brin Naub® suede and synthetic leather-trimmed sport seats with red stitching, red mesh inserts and GR badged headrests; 6-way adjustable driver’s seat with seatback pocket; 4-way adjustable front passenger seat with seatback pocket are standard on the Circuit Edition, and a limited edition Akio Toyoda autographed shift knob is exclusive to the trim level.
Regardless of trim level or options, the Gazoo Racing Corolla will be a special car that has been a long time coming. Pricing has yet to be announced but we can all expect our local dealerships to have a flood of calls asking where they can send a deposit but the question is how would you spec yours?
Photos and info courtesy of Toyota.