In missing a grossly outsized rear wing, Toyota’s new GR Corolla virtually appears reserved at first look. But eager eyes keen on small and enjoyable driver’s vehicles will rapidly peg it as no abnormal Corolla—removed from it. With flared nostrils, a twister of an inline-three, and bulging fenders that make it 2.3 inches wider than its lesser kin, this sizzling hatchback is the clearest manifestation but of Toyota president Akio Toyoda’s imaginative and prescient to inject extra pleasure into his firm’s merchandise.

Developed by Toyota’s efficiency and motorsports arm, Gazoo Racing, and inbuilt a devoted space of the corporate’s manufacturing unit in Motomachi, Japan, the GR Corolla is a rally-car-inspired thoroughbred that in top-range Morizo spec even bares the Toyota boss’s nickname. Drop into the acquainted Corolla inside and you will find delicate, enveloping sport seats and a satisfyingly exact short-throw shifter for the six-speed guide, the one transmission provided. The configurable 12.3-inch gauge show eschews zany animations for straightforward readability, with the gear-selection indicator taking heart stage. The pedals are spaced a bit far aside for straightforward heel-and-toeing, however the auto rev-matching characteristic (which might be turned off) works higher than most Nikes will.

The GR awakens with a boring blat that’s paying homage to a four-cylinder. Only beneath load does the triple-exit exhaust emit the offended, offbeat thrum of a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-three huffing a large 25.2 psi of increase in normal tune. Horsepower is a fair 300 at 6500 rpm—an enormous 185.4 ponies per liter—and torque tops out at 273 pound-feet in most variations. Not a lot occurs beneath 3000 rpm. But the close-ratio gearbox retains the engine in the midst of its rev vary, the place it hits hardest. With the three-cylinder at most snarl and the turbo chirping and whooshing loudly with each upshift, the 7000-rpm redline comes rapidly. Estimated mid-four-second runs to 60 mph put the GR within the hunt with the very best of the sport-compact phase.

But this automotive is about greater than producing velocity—it goads its pilot to orchestrate it. The normal GR-Four all-wheel-drive system can fluctuate its entrance/rear torque cut up from 60/40 to 30/70 p.c on the driver’s command, although the Track mode’s 50/50 cut up was our most popular setting for greatest stability. Front and rear Torsen limited-slip differentials—elective on the Core base mannequin, normal on higher trims—additional improve traction, which, via tight corners, is tenacious. Combined with rabid turn-in response, a strengthened unibody, and a smidge of physique lean, the GR Corolla feels sure-footed but eminently tossable on its strut entrance and multilink rear suspension. Lay into the agency, linear brake pedal, and the four-piston entrance and two-piston rear stoppers are a match for the turbo three’s fury.

Like the very best sizzling hatches, the GR Corolla can be pleasingly civil—it is nonetheless a Corolla in any case, and it retains a lot of the mannequin’s practicality and options, together with adaptive cruise management. Its taut experience would not punish your backbone a lot, thanks partially to the meaty sidewalls of its 235/40R-18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer time tires (the Morizo will get 245-width Cup 2s). Factor in a lightweight, simply modulated clutch pedal and a restrained quantity of pops and bangs from the tailpipes, and there was little carrying on us after hours within the saddle of a Morizo instance.

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The GR will sq. off towards the Honda Civic Type R and the Volkswagen Golf R when it goes on sale on the finish of this 12 months. Toyota will import about 5000 of the $36,995 Core fashions annually. The Circuit version, with its bulged hood, carbon-fiber roof, and bigger rear spoiler, will command $7000 extra and account for a further 1500 items. The Morizo, arriving later subsequent 12 months, might be priced for exclusivity at $50,995.

The GR Corolla joins the GR86 and the GR Supra in Toyota’s U.S. performance-car lineup. But in contrast to these two fashions, which Toyota co-developed with Subaru and BMW, respectively, the GR Corolla is an in-house effort. What Toyota has created is one in every of its most enjoyable driver’s vehicles ever.

Morizo Edition

The GR Corolla’s Morizo edition, so named for the alias Akio Toyoda has used whereas racing, undergoes rigorous modification. Its 300-hp triple positive factors 1.1 psi of increase to supply 22 extra pound-feet of torque (295 in whole). Shorter gearing helps it launch out of corners. To shave round 100 kilos from the in any other case 3300-pound GR, the trim replaces the rear bench with a pair of chassis braces. Rear-door audio system, window regulators, and a rear wiper are absent. Underneath, the suspension is retuned, and wider Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s are fitted on 18-inch solid BBS wheels. Microsuede trim covers the inside, and greater brake ducts grace the entrance bumper. Morizos might be a uncommon sight, although, as solely 200 will initially be constructed.

Specifications

Specifications

2023 Toyota GR Corolla

Vehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 2- or 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback

PRICE

Base: $36,995–$50,995

ENGINE

turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 12-valve inline-3, aluminum block and head, port and direct gasoline injection

Displacement: 99 in3, 1618 cm3

Power: 300 hp @ 6500 rpm

Torque: 273 or 295 lb-ft

TRANSMISSION

6-speed guide

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 103.9 in

Length: 173.6 in

Width: 72.8 in

Height: 57.2 in

Curb Weight (C/D est): 3200–3300 lb

PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)

60 mph: 4.6–4.7 sec

100 mph: 11.7–11.8 sec

1/4-Mile: 13.3–13.4 sec

Top Speed: 143 mph

EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)

Combined/City/Highway: 24/21/28 mpg


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