Toyota unleashes the GR Corolla

Ben Chia

Toyota has unleashed its new GR Corolla hot hatchback to take on the Honda Civic Type R; no indication of Singapore availability yet


Toyota has unveiled the GR Corolla, the latest model to join the brand’s Gazoo Racing range of performance enthusiast cars. The GR Corolla joins the GR Yaris, GR Supra and GR 86 in the Gazoo Racing lineup, and is Toyota’s answer to hot hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Honda Civic Type R.

The car will go on sale in Japan, North America and Australia later this year, but tellingly the car will not be offered in Europe. As of now, there is no word on the car’s availability for Singapore, but should it be confirmed for our market, it would likely have an early or mid 2023 arrival date. It probably won’t be cheap too, with an estimated price tag of at least S$250,000 or more with COE, and could be offered in limited quantities here, like the GR Yaris.

The GR Corolla features an uprated version of the 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine used in the GR Yaris, and in this tune the unit produces 304hp and 370Nm of torque. A six-speed manual with rev-matching is the sole transmission for the GR Corolla, and power is sent to all four wheels via Toyota’s GR Four all-wheel-drive system, which can vary the power split ratio between the front and rear wheels using a multi-plate clutch.

Other unique performance highlights include the eye-catching triple exhaust pipe setup, with Toyota claiming that the system has been tuned to be more efficient in reducing back pressure. The body has also been stiffened and given additional bracing and strengthening to improve stability, while the large rear spoiler, flared fenders and numerous air intake vents help with aerodynamics.

The suspension setup features retuned springs, dampers and anti-roll bars, and are matched with a high performance braking system that consists of slotted discs all round, with four-piston callipers at the front and two-piston items at the rear. Like the GR Yaris, the GR Corolla has a mechanical handbrake which can disconnect the rear axle on the move to induce drifts.

Toyota has also put the Corolla through a weight loss programme to transform it into the GR, with the hot hatch now weighing just 1,474kg. The hardcore track-special Circuit Edition shaves even more weight with a forged carbon fibre roof panel and an aluminium bonnet and front doors. The Circuit Edition also adds a pair of Torsen differentials to enhance the car’s handling prowess by improving grip and cornering response.

The interior of the GR Corolla is fairly muted in contrast to the aggressive exterior, but there are still some unique highlights, such as the leather-trimmed steering wheel, sports seats, aluminium pedals and GR badging everywhere. The Circuit Edition gets suede upholstery, and a shift knob that features the signature of Toyota president Akio Toyoda.


Corolla gr corolla hatchback hot hatch sports Toyota

About the Author

Ben Chia

CarBuyer's senior staff writer went out to explore the Great Big World, including a stint working in China (despite his limited Mandarin). Now he's back, ready to foist upon you his takes on everything good and wonderful about the automotive world. Follow Ben on Instagram @carbuyer.ben

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