The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla has everything we want in a hot upgrade

With its 300 hp turbocharged three-cylinder engine, six-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive, the GR Corolla makes it easy for Toyota to forgive for not supplying us with the Yaris GR.

The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla has everything we want in a hot upgrade
The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla has everything we want in a hot upgrade

The 2023 Toyota Corolla hot hatch has 300 horsepower and full-time four-wheel drive.
The six-speed manual transmission is standard equipment on both the base version, known as the Core and Circuit Edition.
The GR Corolla will go on sale in the U.S. starting later this year.
Are we in the midst of a booming revival? Say yes, because we want it. Obviously Toyota wants that too, as it has finally shown us the eagerly awaited 2023 COROLLA GR.

We were so envious to see Gazoo Racing — Toyota’s motorsport and operations department — turn out that tuned versions of cars that we couldn’t get here in the states, most recently the Yaris GR. Thankfully, it seemed like the GR Corolla would give us everything that we liked about that car and that car and the most recent. More than that.

The GR Corolla will be offered in two versions: Core and Circuit Edition. The latter added a carbon fiber roof, a bulging hood and a larger rear spoiler. Both décor are spacious for race cars and RC cars in the best way, with fenders featuring vents and chunky and an edited version of the Corolla’s large frowning grille that makes gr look like it’s laughing.

Why isn’t he happy? Under the hood, it has an improved version of the three-cylinder 1.6-liter turbocharged engine from the Yaris GR. In the Yaris, the engine produces 257 horsepower. In the Corolla, the G16E-GTS will produce an incredible 300 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. That’s 100 horses per cylinder. To increase capacity, the Corolla’s exhaust system uses three air outlets to reduce reverse pressure. As a bonus, it looks cool when it comes out the back. To keep the direct gasoline injection engine together reaching a maximum power of 6500 rpm, the three cylinders use oil rays to cool the pistons, large exhaust valves to quickly drain the peppered gas, and a machined intake port for better flow.

If three exhaust heads and three oil-cooled pistons aren’t enough to get you excited, what about six gears, such as a manual gearbox? The GR Corolla is geared towards the hearts of purists by only coming with a six-speed manual transmission with functionality that matches the revs.

The Corolla also features Toyota’s first sporty four-wheel drive system in decades. Dubbed the GR-Four — and embossed on the doorstep in a beautiful little historical mark back to the GT-Four racing cars of the 80s — the system is designed for a variety of terrain and the ability to adjust quickly. The standard setting is to distribute torque from front to front after 60:40, but it can deviate from the rear wheel by 30:70 or even 50:50. However, you have separated it, the power supply to open the differential is standard with the option for the torsen limited anti-slip differential front and rear as part of the Performance on Core package (Torsen’s difference is standard on the Circuit version).

In preparation for the rocky life, your GR Corolla will definitely have, the frame has additional welds to strengthen the joints and more structural adhesives used between the glued components. The front suspension uses an adjustable strut while the rear is a multi-link system designed around the AWD system. The GR is 2.4 inches wider than the standard Corolla and uses fat fenders to fit 235/40R-18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires on glossy black 15-spoke alloy wheels. Behind the wheel are 14.0-inch brake shafts grooved at the front and 11.7 inches at the rear. The Circuit version will stop with a red clipboard marked with the GR symbol.

The interior of the GR is not so impressive compared to a normal Corolla like the exterior, but there are still some accents to make a difference. That’s especially true in the Circuit Edition, which has a leather steering wheel, signed gear levers, suede and faux leather sports seats with red details, and insignia on the headrest. The Core model has a fabric-upholstered seat with no red accents, but both models have a GR-only performance index in the 12.3-inch instrument cluster, a short gear lever, and mechanical parking brakes. Hello, freak parking.

Infotainment software and comfort features look like the standard Corolla, with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capabilities, multiple optional charging ports and wireless charging. The safety features and driver assistance may seem like similar words on a car aimed at combating thuggish behavior, but if your parking lot endangers you towards lampposts or pedestrians,

both versions of the GR Corolla are standard with the software suite of Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 of the features.

Pricing has yet to be announced, but we’re hoping for something in the low $30,000 range. The GR Corolla will go on sale at the end of 2022 and we’ll be eagerly waiting to get a line-up for the hot shootout.


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