After a myriad of teasers and easter eggs, Toyota has finally revealed its GR model. Say hello to the 2023 GR Corolla.
Officially making its world debut in North America, the souped-up Corolla joins the brand's growing GR portfolio that includes the likes of the GR Yaris, GR Supra, and the GR 86.
First things first, let's talk about its exterior. While the GR Yaris already looks mean, Toyota decided to crank it up to 11 for the GR Corolla. It gets a massive air intake which almost dominates the entire front bumper. It also gets corner intakes which are designed to help cool the front brakes during a hot lap on the track, along with canards that provide additional aerodynamics.
Also worth mentioning on the GR Corolla is its distinct triple exhaust. According to Toyota, it was designed to reduce the back pressure for maximum power delivery. To help keep the GR Corolla planted to the pavement, Toyota installed a huge spoiler, as well as a diffuser integrated into the rear bumper. These upgrades are only available on the limited Circuit Edition.
Last but not least, it rolls on 18-inch gloss black alloy wheels wrapped in 235/40/R18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires.
Pop the hood and you'll find a 1.6-liter G16E-GTS three-cylinder turbo in the GR Corolla. If the engine code sounds familiar, that's because it's the same engine that can be found on the GR Yaris. In the Corolla, the engine makes significantly more power as it now generates 304 PS at 6000 rpm and 370 Nm of torque at 3000 – 5500 rpm. This translates to an increase of 43 PS plus an extra 10 Nm of pulling power. And just like the GR Yaris, the GR Corolla is mated to a proper six-speed manual gearbox.
Aside from giving the GR Corolla a powerful engine, engineers also made the hot hatch more lightweight. Both the hood and front door panels are made of aluminum, while high-tensile steel is used in critical areas that ensure the car's structure can safely absorb and dissipate impact forces. In the Circuit Edition, the roof is made of a forged carbon sheet molding compound. Toyota says this lightweight, highly rigid material keeps off the ounces that a steel roof would bring and helps lower the car’s center of gravity.
To ensure there's adequate grip on any surface, the hot hatch benefits from the GR Four all-wheel-drive system. Drivers can even choose how much power is being sent to each axle. From 60:40 to 50:50 split, as well as 30:70 front-rear torque split, driver's have the freedom to choose how they want to drive the GR Corolla. For added grip on any surface and road condition, a front and rear Torsen Limited-Slip Differential provides enhanced cornering. This replaces the standard 4WD open differential that's fitted on the hot hatch.
The suspension of the GR Corolla was given special attention as well. It gets lightweight MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link system at the back that accommodates the GR Four AWD system. It's also equipped with circuit-tuned coil springs, shock absorbers, and stabilizer bars. All of these allow the front suspension to deliver the engine's power to the road and provide optimum cornering ability on all surfaces.
Stopping power comes in the form of 14x11.1-inch ventilated and slotted rotors with 4-piston aluminum calipers at the front. Meanwhile, the rear gets 11.7x0.7-inch ventilated discs with 2-piston aluminum calipers. Both the front and rear calipers are painted in the signature red finish complete with the GR logo.
Just like the exterior, a race-inspired interior will greet drivers when they hop in the GR Corolla. It comes with a GR leather three-spoke steering wheel, leather-suede sport seats with red stitching, GR-badged headrests, and a short-throw shifter.
In front of the driver is a 12.3-inch fully-digital instrument panel with a GR meter. This can monitor the AWD system, turbo pressure, gear position, and tachometer in real-time. Providing infotainment is an 8-inch touchscreen that comes with voice control which can be activated by saying 'Hey Toyota'. This will allow drivers to help search for directions, points of interest, adjust the audio system, change cabin temperature, and more.
Other features available inside the GR Corolla include automatic climate control, aluminum sport pedals, lighted foot-wells, GR engine start/stop button, wireless phone charging pad, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto connectivity, plus an 8-speaker JBL sound system.
Pricing for the GR Corolla has yet to be revealed. However, they did say that the hot hatch will go on sale later this year globally. Yes, you read that right, the GR Corolla will be available worlwide. The only question now is, will Toyota Motor Philippines actually offer the GR Corolla locally?
If you were to choose, would you get the GR Yaris or the GR Corolla? Let us know in the comments.