After numerous teaser campaigns, the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla hot hatch has finally been unveiled, effectively giving Toyota a competitor to the Honda Civic Type R. With the North American market missing out on the GR Yaris, the larger GR Corolla will definitely satisfy the needs of American car enthusiasts as the GR Yaris will definitely be too small for their tastes. They’re also not missing out on any of the good stuff that made the GR Yaris so popular in the first place because the GR Corolla shares most of that car’s hardware.
This stars with its G16E-GTS 1.6-liter three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine that’s straight from the GR Yaris. Only this time, it now produces 300 horsepower and 370 Nm of torque, which is more than 40 hp more than the Philippine-spec GR Yaris. Contrary to past rumors, the GR Corolla will solely come with a 6-speed manual with rev-matching capabilities.
The Toyota GR Corolla also adopts the GR-Four all-wheel drive (AWD) system from the GR Yaris, which has the ability to vary its power distribution between the front or rear wheels depending on the drive mode or situation. The power split is 60:40 front-to-rear in Normal, 30:70 in Sport, and 50:50 in Track. An optional Performance Package adds Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires and a Torsen limited-slip differential (LSD) that adds the ability to shuffle the power between the left or right wheels.
As for its styling, the Toyota GR Corolla is only available in hatchback form, and it gains a GR Yaris-inspired face. Easily noticeable is its wider mesh grille, vertical side vents, and significantly wider body that’s emphasized by its flared wheel arches. This also enabled Toyota to add side air vents to the GR Corolla’s front fenders. The rocker panels are also wider than the standard Corolla’s and it also contains a stamped GR-Four logo. Lastly, the rear end of the GR Corolla comes with a more aggressive rear bumper, a large rear spoiler, a rear diffuser, and an interesting layout for its three exhaust pipes.
Moving inside, the Toyota GR Corolla’s aesthetics largely remains the same. What sets the GR Corolla apart are its sporty bucket seats, various red accent trimmings, and GR logos on the push-button starter, new sports steering wheel, seats, and center console. Also new for the GR Corolla is a 12.3-inch fully-digital gauge cluster and a new 8-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia infotainment, which now comes with an intelligent personal assistant that can be summoned by saying “Hey, Toyota!”.
Apart from the standard GR Corolla, there will also be a Circuit Edition (as shown), and this comes with a bulging hood with air vents, forged carbon fiber roof, an even larger rear spoiler, and red GR brake calipers. The interior of this special edition model also comes with Brin Naub suede and leather upholstery, and a shift knob with the “Morizo” signature, which is Toyota President Akio Toyoda’s racing alias.
Other special features that are equipped as standard in this special edition model and as an option on the standard GR Corolla include a JBL sound system, heated front seats and steering, automatic climate control, and wireless charging.
The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla will be assembled at the Motomachi plant, which is the birthplace of the Lexus LFA and A80 Toyota Supra. Unlike most Toyota factories, the Motomachi plant utilizes more manual techniques that focus more on quality rather than outright production numbers. The good news is that the GR Corolla won’t just be limited to the United States, as this will be sold in other markets as well.