Toyota is taking fast cars seriously and we should be thankful for that. After the scintillating GR Yaris, comes another firecracker of a hot hatch fresh from the house of Gazoo racing- the go-fast skunkworks of Toyota. With the Yaris GR we saw how the humdrum hatchback was ripped apart and injected with a lot more power and attitude, now, the same technique has been applied to the Corolla.
The GR Corolla not only looks mean but has a spec sheet that seems to read like a competition rally car. It boasts a 4WD system that lets you play around with the torque sent to the front/rear wheels and a potent ‘G16E-GTS’ turbo-charged 300hp motor hooked to a snappy six-speed manual. Put simply, this new release feels like the stuff of dreams when it comes to the perfect hot hatchback recipe and what’s more, it’s in a Corolla!
It’s also a labour of love with a select bunch of technicians assembling the car, meaning the new GR Corolla is not a soulless mass-produced automobile. The GR Corolla Circuit Edition meanwhile comes with front and rear Torsen Limited-Slip Differentials (LSD) which increases the grip and cornering ability further. You can adjust the car’s performance according to dirt, sand, gravel or snow while giving it a bigger range of adjustability rather than just being a track day car.
The engine is similar to the GR Yaris but has been massaged for more power with the bigger bodyshell of the four-door Corolla. The 6-speed intelligent manual transmission (iMT) comes with rev-matching and sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires 235/40R18 will have you hunting rally trails in this.
The GR Corolla Circuit edition looks seriously mean clad in a forged carbon fibre roof, vented bulge hood and a bigger rear spoiler. The stance is lower, wider and reeks of menacing charm similar to the GR Yaris. Inside, it’s decidedly sporty with different gages but it is still a Corolla underneath hence it’s also practical. Lack of rally obligations also means that the GR Corolla is a roomy four-door hatch rather than the two-door GR Yaris.
The Circuit edition will come next year while the standard ‘Core’ grade will land later this year in Australia; albeit in limited numbers. While no price information has been handed down just yet, judging by the steep increase on the previous Yaris edition, the car could go for in excess of AUD$60,000. Overall, there is plenty to get excited about the GR Corolla and that’s an achievement by Toyota in the first place as to how they have turned around this car into a proper hot hatch with some rally pedigree infused in.