After a long wait and many temptations, the Toyota GR Corolla 2023 is finally here. This gave the brand a hot hatch to sell in the United States for the first time in some time.
Under the hood, there’s a 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder G16E-GTS engine that produces 300 horsepower (224 kilowatts) at 6,500 rpm and 273 pound-feet (370 Newton-meters) from 3,000 to 5,500 rpm. The power is channeled through a six-speed manual gearbox with rev-matching function. The GR-Four’s all-wheel-drive system has front-rear torque split settings of 60-40, 50-50, and 30-70 to choose from, depending on driver preference.
Toyota’s announcement doesn’t offer any performance estimates, so we don’t know how fast the GR Corolla will reach 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) or what its top speed will be.
In rough comparison, the Toyota GR Yaris in the European market hits 62 mph (100 kph) in under 5.5 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 143 mph (230 km/h). Despite sharing a turbocharged 1.6-liter three-cylinder engine with the Corolla, the manufacturer’s version produces 257 hp (192 kW) and 266 lb-ft (360 Nm). Also, the GR Yaris weighs 2,822 pounds (1,280 kilograms), compared to 3,249 pounds (1,474 kilograms) for the new GR Corolla.
What Makes It Special?
The GR Corolla uses a modified version of the GA-C platform that has additional weld points for the frame to strengthen joints and uses extensive structural adhesives. The hood and front door panels are made of aluminum to save weight. The body gets canards in the corners to channel air into the flanks and flared fenders. The ground floor is level to reduce drag.
The hot hatch suspension consists of MacPherson-type struts at the front and a double-wishbone design at the rear. The more violent Corolla uses 18-inch, 15-spoke alloy wheels with a glossy black finish that has 235/40R18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires.
For braking, the hot hatch has 14 x 1.1-inch ventilated rotors and is slotted with four-piston calipers up front. At the rear, there are 11.7 x 0.7-inch ventilated discs with two-piston calipers.
The interior of the GR Corolla features a 12.3-inch digital infotainment screen. The display includes a display of the selected all-wheel-drive mode, turbo pressure, gear position indicator, and tachometer. The driver operates a short-throw shifter that Toyota says has a position “where the driver’s arm is lowered naturally from the steering wheel.” There’s also an 8.0-inch infotainment screen in the center of the dashboard.
Core or Circuit Edition?
The GR Corolla will launch in the US with two trim levels: a base Core model arriving later in 2022 or an exclusive Circuit Edition first model year coming in 2023.
The GR Corolla Core is available in white, black, and Supersonic Red. Inside, there are upholstered sports seats and a black and silver color scheme. As an option, there’s the Cold Weather package which adds heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. The Technology Package includes navigation, enhanced stereo and wireless smartphone charging.
The Circuit Edition offers performance enhancements, including having a faux carbon fiber roof. This trim is available in White, Supersonic Red, and Heavy Metal. The brake calipers are red and have the GR logo.
The circuit is equipped with Torsen limited-slip differentials for the front and rear axles. These sections are optional upgrades as part of the Core model Performance Package.
For an aesthetic enhancement, the Circuit features a protruding hood with functional ventilation. His nose wears a glossy black grille. It also has a matte-black rear spoiler, rather than the gloss finish for the Core models.
Inside, it has Brin Naub faux suede and synthetic leather upholstery throughout the cabin in a black and red color scheme. Navigation and eight-speaker stereo are part of the package. The circuit also has an automatic temperature control, heated front seats and heated steering wheel.
Prices are not yet available for both GR Corolla classes. Buyers get a free one-year membership in the National Auto Sport Association.