Automotive enthusiasts have been dying for some new entrants into the hot hatchback market, and one company has delivered. Meet the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla. We’re going to talk about everything you might need to know about this new machine.
- 6-speed manual transmission
- GR-FOUR all-wheel drive
- 300 horsepower
- 272 lb-ft torque
- 1.3-liter 3-cylinder turbo engine
- Two grades: Core (standard) and Circuit (limited run)
If you’re new to the Toyota performance world, you might be wondering about the significance behind the “GR” in the name. Basically, GR stands for Gazoo Racing, which is one of Toyota’s performance offshoots (the other one being Toyota Racing Development, or TRD).
Where TRD focuses more on off-road performance, GR is the race track-ready designation that has grown to include a legitimate racing program in endurance and rally programs.
GR editions of Toyota’s vehicles will be more powerful than their base competitors and also feature sportier suspension and aggressive styling cues.
Totoya’s GR Four all-wheel drive system was designed for rally competition, so it’s been rigorously tested in all conditions, from dirt to tarmac, from rain to snow.
Here’s a little more from Toyota’s press release, which describes exactly what you can expect:
With the twist of a dial, GR Corolla can adjust four-wheel drive performance to fit the driver’s needs. For every-day situations, drivers can set a front/rear torque distribution of 60:40; for a more sport setting, balance can shift to the rear, with 30:70 distribution for a fun-to-drive quality on winding roads and circuits; and for maximum stability a 50:50 setting can be used for fast, competitive track driving on circuits or special stages. In each mode, the torque balance will automatically adjust in response to the driver’s inputs, vehicle behavior and road or track conditions.
You’ll also have the option to upgrade to front and rear limited-slip differentials with the Performance package.
Like the GR Yaris, the Toyota GR Corolla is powered by a 1.36-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine — but unlike the GR Yaris, Toyota has found a way to give this larger vehicle more horsepower and more torque to combat the extra weight added by a heavier vehicle.
The engine has also taken cues from the motorsport world, including multi-oil jet piston cooling, large-diameter exhaust valves, and a part-machined intake port. It has a single-scroll ball-bearing turbo, while combustion is fed via a D-4S direct and port fuel injection system.
Those extra horsepower and torque numbers come along with some exhaust refinement.
The GR Corolla isn’t for the faint of heart — your only transmission option is a six-speed manual with a rev-match function, so get ready to start working that third pedal.
Other suspension components included:
- A stiffer platform with more weld points and structural adhesive
- MacPherson front and double-wishbone rear suspension
- Upgraded springs, dampers, and stabilizer bars
- 18-inch cast alloy wheels with gloss black finish
- Michelin Pilot Sport 4 235/40R18 tires
- 14-inch, four-piston front brakes front; 11.7-inch, two-piston rear brakes
The GR versions of Toyota’s machines come with a widebody makeover — and this means the GR Corolla is 2.5 inches wider than the Corolla hatchback and a 1.5 inch increase in length. The appearance is sharpened and pointed, with a planted and muscular stance, and a large rear spoiler. The 103.9 inch wheelbase is unchanged.
You’re probably not buying the Toyota GR Corolla specifically because it has a good infotainment system, but we’re going to talk about tech anyway.
The 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster will show you turbo pressure, your selected AWD mode, gear position indicator, and tachometer. You’ll also get an eight-inch infotainment screen in the center of the dash (unless you upgrade to the Technology package).
Other tech features include:
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Multiple charge ports
- Optional Qi wireless charging
- Toyota Safety Sense 3.0
Our aforementioned descriptions are all based on the Core model, which is going to be the Toyota GR Corolla’s standard run model, with fabric-covered sport seats and a black-and-silver color scheme. The technical components of both cars are the same as the GR Corolla with the Performance package added, but there are a few upgrades on the Circuit Edition.
The limited-run Circuit Edition offers features performance features like a forged carbon-fiber roof that’s lighter than the standard roof, vented hoods, and a larger spoiler than the Core model. It also includes suede-trimmed sport seats with red accents, painted brake calipers with GR logos, an exclusive shift knob, and an exclusive Heavy Metal shade.
You’ll also have the ability to add a Cold Weather package for heated front seats and a heated steering wheel; the Technology package for navigation, upgraded stereo, and wireless charging; and the Performance Package, which adds Torsen limited-slip differentials on the front and rear axles.
Right now, we don’t have an exact release date or pricing. We know the Core model will come out sometime later this year (with the Circuit Edition coming out in 2023), and pricing is set to be released closer to that date. Many estimates are pegging the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla at $37,000 to $43,000 — but with the current market, just about anything goes.