At a Glance
For nearly 70 years, Toyota has given us some really iconic vehicles, which have also become a gold standard in quality and reliability. It’s not just the passenger vehicles, Toyota also has some legendary sports cars in its portfolio, like Toyota Supra. In response to the rapidly growing competition in the motorsports industry, Toyota launched “Gazoo Racing (GR)”. The GR has grown immensely over the past few years, so much so that it has wrapped the most sold passenger car ever in its influence, the Toyota GR Corolla.
Toyota GR Corolla
Toyota Corolla has always been the top choice among the buyers, offering superb reliability and solid long-term performance. After playing around with the Yaris hatchback, Gazoo Racing has now released an aggressive version of Corolla, the Corolla GR, that will challenge the likes of Volkswagen Golf R, and Honda Civic Type R. In contrast to the innocent sedan that’s been around for decades, the 2023 Corolla GR is really something else.
It brings a new character to this very popular nameplate of Toyota Corolla and has the looks of a true street racer. It debuted as a hot hatch featuring an all-new platform, seriously modified engine, and upgraded mechanics to make the 2023 Corolla GR a really solid contender for the crown of the performance vehicles genre.
Anticipated Prices and Variants
The much anticipated Toyota GR Corolla will be offered in two trims. The base variant is called “Core” and a sportier, more aggressive version is named “Circuit Edition”. The Circuit Edition will be released exclusively as a Launch-Year Edition and will go on sale for a limited time.
Toyota has not published the prices of GR Corolla yet, and there are some anticipations only.
Technical Prowess – Performance of a True Hot Hatch
Toyota went back to the drawing board for this one and designed everything from scratch, starting with the most basic and important part, the chassis. The Corolla GR is based on an all-new GA-C platform designed specifically for the motorsports department. This frame offers a rigid and lightweight construction, ideal for performance, pinpoint handling, and sharp dynamics
As we explore the technical specs, everything gets better. The performance-oriented hot hatch features a 1.6L 3-cylinder turbocharged engine, the one that powers the Toyota Yaris GR as well. The code-named G16E-GTS engine is tuned specifically for performance and is capable of producing 300 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, 75 hp more than the Yaris GR. Thanks to the newly designed three-piece muffler that refines the engine exhaust efficiency, the new Corolla GR is rated at a whopping 100 horsepower per cylinder.
Mated to this marvelous engine is a 6-speed manual transmission, which also features modified gear ratios for quick shifting and unparalleled performance. The GR Corolla also offers an engaging drag experience with superb traction, thanks to its AWD system. The driver can choose between 3 power distribution settings – 60:40 for normal driving, 30:70 for drifting, and a more stable 50:50 for traction.
The Circuit Edition would also feature a front and rear Torsen limited-slip differential and 18” alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires for your daily dose of speed and adrenaline spike.
Toyota is yet to comment on the performance figures, but we can guess by looking at Yaris GR’s performance. Expect the new Corolla GR to hit 0-100 km/h in under 5 seconds, and a top speed of 155 mph.
Styling – The Unique Design Cues
The all-new 2023 GR Corolla brings a new character to the legendary nameplate with its sporty styling. The Front end of the car looks sharp and aggressive, all credit to those sporty and slim headlights and enhanced by the unique matrix grille with a GR emblem and curvy accents. The LED DRLs and fog lamps, bulky fenders, and trendy 18-inch aluminum wheels bring it to the limelight.
The rear end of the car is very bold and attractive, majorly due to the sporty stainless steel triple exhaust layout. To complement the overall look of the car, the roof is also designed with a particular taste, it is made of a forged carbon sheet and can be opted in contrast, for a sporty touch. With such looks, there’s no denying that the new Corolla GR qualifies to be called a Hot Hatch.
Interior – Comfort and Ambiance
The same high-quality interior panels and luxurious upholstery greet you as soon as you step inside the 2023 GR Corolla. The driving experience is unmatched thanks to the cabin’s abundance of comfort and convenience features. The suite of luxury features, including auto climate control, heated steering wheel, push-button start, and ambient interior lighting makes the cabin absolutely soothing for the passengers. The 6-way adjustable electric heated seats are upholstered in imitation leather.
For convenience, there are a variety of storage bins for hand-held objects and wireless smartphone charging, to spare you the trouble of tangling cables and wires.
Technology and Infotainment
The new Corolla GR is blessed generously with technology and a top-class infotainment system. It features a brand new 12.3-inch TFT odometer to keep the driver updated with all the information, such as the gear indicator, driving mode, and turbo pressure. The TFT screen can be controlled and navigated via steering-mounted switches, apart from controlling the volume and making phone calls.
The main infotainment system features Toyota’s latest software with navigation and a central 8-inch touchscreen. The majority of the car’s features and functions are controlled via the center screen, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. Wireless connectivity allows seamless usability, and the sound system is a top-notch 8-speaker JBL premium setup.
The hot hatch segment grew exponentially in the days of the Group 4 and 5 rally. Enthusiasts can recall the legends of that era, such as the Audi Quattro S1, Lancia Delta Integrale, and Lancia 037. The industry matured and transformed into street performance with some very well-known performance hatchbacks coming over the years.
With everything the new Toyota GR Corolla has got, it can challenge all those big players in the industry. Some of the direct rivals of the new 2023 Toyota GR Corolla include the Honda Civic Type R, Hyundai Veloster N, Volkswagen Golf R, and Ford Focus RS. Let’s wait for GR Corolla to mark its debut and hit the roads, to see how it fares against its rivals.