Toyota GR Corolla (2023): three cylinders, three tailpipes

At Toyota, the signs point to sport. After the acclaimed GR Yaris, the Japanese present the Über-Corolla as a true opponent of the VW Golf R.

Akio Toyoda, head of Japanese automaker Toyota, repeatedly emphasizes how important sports cars are to him. If you look at the recent past, Toyoda follows his statement with facts. The GT86 was first, then the in-house Gazoo Racing (GR) sports department first refined the new Supra and then the Yaris as an offshoot of the current WRC rally car. Only the hybrid hypercar, which has been announced for a long time, will be a long time coming; the project has stalled for a variety of reasons. Instead, the Toyota GR Corolla, which has been heavily teased in recent weeks and months, is now entering the spotlight.

The Hyundai i30 N and VW Golf R competitor is even more visually impressive than its less introverted little brother, the GR Yaris, though it adopts the basic bodywork of the rather boring Corolla Sport. The new front apron features a cooling intake throat with a honeycomb grille. The flared wheelhouses have multiple slots at the front and are attached to the bodywork at the rear. They widen the GR Corolla by 20 millimeters at the front and 30 millimeters at the rear compared to the base model. The hood also has air vents.

three exhaust pipes

The roof section made of carbon ends in a spoiler lip, while the rear apron, which is black in the middle, takes up the look of the front of the car. In the lower area there is a diffuser that frames what is probably the most striking design detail of the Toyota GR Corolla: the three exhaust outlets of the exhaust system, whose outer representatives are classically round in shape, while the central element is an oval. . Several GR emblems are distributed throughout the bodywork; The inscription “GR-Four” is engraved on the rear area of ​​the side skirts.

Toyota GR Corolla

Toyota Motor Corp.

The three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine delivers 304 hp and a maximum torque of 370 Newton meters.

A reference to the variable four-wheel drive with electronic multi-plate clutch that Toyota donated to the new GR Corolla. This is not the only technical analogy with the GR Yaris. The older brother also takes over his 1.6-litre triple, but in a tuned-up form. Thanks to turbocharging and intercooling, the petrol engine delivers 304 hp and a maximum torque of 370 Newton meters. By the way, the exhaust is said to be mainly responsible for the extra power achieved compared to the GR Yaris (261 hp and a maximum of 360 Nm). The driver classifies all six corridors himself. Toyota has not yet communicated the performance.

Extensive chassis tuning

Torsen locking differentials on both axles are designed to optimize traction. The basic chassis design, borrowed from the Corolla Sport, works with MacPherson struts at the front axle and double wishbones at the rear and also features upgraded springs, dampers and ball bearings. The track is 60 millimeters wider in the front and 85 millimeters in the rear than the standard Corolla. Gazoo Racing treats its newcomer to three driving modes that affect, among other things, throttle pedal response and steering. The all-wheel drive power distribution can be defined separately, so that the GR Corolla can be further tailored to your own driving dynamics preferences. Additional struts at the rear are designed to optimize torsional stiffness.

Toyota GR Corolla

Toyota Motor Corp.

The wheels measure 18 inches all around and are fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires in size 235/40 R18.

Gazoo Racing equips the wheels, which are always painted in glossy black, have a 15-spoke design and measure 18 inches, with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires in 235/40 R18 size. The braking system works at the front with 355-millimeter discs and four-piston calipers. At the rear, 298-millimeter discs and two-piston calipers are used. Of course, the extensively equipped Toyota Safety Sense package is also on board the GR Corolla.

Changed in details inside

As a classic hatchback, the Toyota GR Corolla retains the everyday usability of its serious siblings. The 4.41 meter long, 1.85 meter wide and 1.48 meter high (2.64 meter wheelbase) 1.5-ton truck still has five doors and seats. Until now, Toyota has reserved whether the trunk, which has a capacity of 361 liters in the normal Corolla, should be reduced.

Toyota GR Corolla

Toyota Motor Corp.

Inside, the GR Corolla differs in details from its well-behaved siblings. However, these also fulfill driving dynamics tasks.

Inside we recognize the typical aesthetics of the Corolla; however, the GR shows details that are intended to contribute to the theme of driving pleasure. The instrument display has separate gauges, the gear stick is kept short enough for quick gear changes, and the classic handbrake lever is there to initiate drifts if needed.

Priced probably between i30 N and Golf R

While it is likely to launch in Japan and the US in the fall of this year, the Toyota GR Corolla won’t launch in Europe until 2023. We can only speculate on pricing at this point. In this sense, the Japanese is likely to be a little above the Korean competitor Hyundai i30 N. Its Performance variant with 280 hp starts at 36,900 euros; a good €40,000 for the GR Corolla appears to be a realistic fee. Another natural adversary, the 320 hp VW Golf R, costs at least 51,835 euros.

opinion poll

Yes. If it’s half as good as the GR Yaris, it’ll be awesome!

No. With this car the hops and the malt have been lost when it comes to emotion.

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The GR Supra and GR Yaris have proven that Toyotas can be real pranksters as soon as the GR sticker is attached to the bodywork. So the bar is high for the next member of the Corolla-based Gazoo Racing gang. However, the data and parameters that have now been released give clear indications that you can easily bypass them.


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