At the heart of the GR Corolla is a turbocharged 1.6-liter three-cylinder engine that gives new meaning to the term “tiny but mighty.” This compact powerplant cranks out 300 horsepower and 273 lb.-ft. of torque, to the satisfaction of those who consider driving a recreational activity as opposed to just a way of getting from one place to the next. The GR engineers tuned the engine to produce peak torque at 3,000 to 5,500 rpm, with maximum horsepower at 6,500 rpm. Toyota also added a triple exhaust system that’s been designed to enhance engine output.
Accompanying the potent engine is a standard all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, developed initially for the company’s rally racing efforts. This drivetrain allows the operator to select the power distribution (60-40, 50-50, or 30-70) between the front and rear wheels. In a further nod to Toyota’s rally origins, the GR Corolla comes solely with a six-speed manual transmission.
As part of the GR Corolla’s development, the engineers crafted the suspension to maximize the power going to each wheel. Some of the other components worth mentioning are its race-tuned chassis and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires. The limited-run Circuit Edition also gets front and rear Torsen limited-slip differentials for sharper road manners. Of course, another vital part of handling involves braking power. In the GR Corolla, this comes from fixed-caliper disc brakes with ventilated rotors on all four corners.
The first GR Corolla out of the factory will be the Core trim. Its standard features will include automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with tilt and telescopic adjustments, push-button start, and aluminum pedals. It will be offered in white, black, Supersonic Red with a color-keyed roof accented by a black rear lip spoiler. For heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, you can add the Cold Weather Package when you order your GR Corolla Core. Buyers can also add the Performance Package, which upgrades the chassis and brakes to the same specs as the higher-priced Circuit Edition.
Coming in early 2023, the limited-production Circuit Edition will be available in white, Supersonic Red, or Heavy Metal (a metallic gray). Along with GR-Four badged side rockers and bulging fenders, the Circuit Edition will have a carbon-fiber roof, vented hood openings, a trim-specific rear spoiler, and Brin Naub suede-trimmed sport seats. It will also get the Cold Weather Package as standard equipment. Adding to the version’s distinctiveness will be an exclusive Morizo-signed shift knob: Morizo is the name Toyota President Akio Toyoda uses when he’s behind the wheel for Gazoo Racing competitions.
All 2023 GR Corolla trims will have Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 for forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection and intersection monitoring, lane departure alert with steering assist, and lane tracing assist. There will also be blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, a rear seat reminder, and road sign assist.
The GR Corolla will be a launchpad for Toyota’s recently revamped infotainment setup. Based around an 8-inch touchscreen, this state-of-the-art system incorporates Over-the-Air (OTA) updates and access via touch and expanded voice-command capability. Other infotainment features will include a multi-speaker audio system (the Circuit Edition will have an eight-speaker JBL unit), wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth, and access to a Wi-Fi hotspot and Toyota Connected Services.
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