We know the Toyota GR Corolla is an underachieving hot hatchback, but we didn’t have much of a chance to see it rip the drag strip. Admittedly, this is new Throttle House video does not take place in the right strip. But with the asphalt exposed in a controlled environment, there’s plenty of room to let the little three-cylinder engine sing.
It’s also an opportunity for a three-way drag race against several other compact runabouts. Up against the GR Corolla is the Hyundai Elantra N, packing 276 horsepower from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Another competitor is the Honda Civic Type R, although unfortunately not the latest model that just debuted. It’s a bit too new for this battle, but the previous generation hot hatch with 306 hp is certainly up to the challenge. All three vehicles change gears the old fashioned way with manual transmissions.
Obviously, one vehicle here is unlike the other two. While Honda and Hyundai carry a 2.0-liter engine, the GR Corolla uses a 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine. It is also all-wheel drive, whereas the competition only spins the front wheels. With 300 hp on tap in the Corolla, it certainly has an advantage here, doesn’t it?
Launched on an unprepared surface, the all-paw GR Corolla really jumps ahead. However, we’ve seen Elantra N pull off some surprising wins and this time… well that’s not the case. The slightly more powerful Type R couldn’t even catch up to the Corolla before the finish line, though to the credit of both FWD competitors, Toyota’s only real advantage was in its launch.
It was revealed in the second drag race, this time with a rolling start. All three cars pulled away evenly, with the Elantra falling back slightly. At first, however – the turbocharged sedan stuck with Toyota for the rest of the ride, but none could match the Civic Type R. It slowly took the lead, crossing a line of two long cars ahead of the GR Corolla.
How will the new Civic Type R handle Toyota? It’s a fight we can’t wait to see.