The Corolla helped put Toyota on the map in the American automotive landscape in the late 1960s, eventually earning a coveted place as the best-selling car in the world by the 1970s. Today, the sedan's massive success makes it a staple in the Toyota lineup and a source of inspiration. What do we mean? Meet the all-new, rally-inspired 2023 Toyota GR Corolla.
The first-ever GR Corolla takes everything you love about Toyota's best-selling sedan and makes it better. Designed to satiate any need for speed, the GR Corolla injects excitement into the Toyota fleet and positions itself against rivals like the Subaru WRX, Volkswagen Golf R, and Honda Civic Type R. But what makes it so unique?
The rally-inspired hatchback is a powerhouse on wheels, with its 300-horsepower engine tuned to meet every racing standard. The GR Corolla's lower center of gravity, functional exterior design features, and hatchback profile set the powertrain up for success, ensuring stability, control, and optimal performance. This translates to a thrilling driving experience, immediate acceleration, and corner-hugging performance that will inspire your search for the windiest roads in the state.
Toyota makes the GR Corolla more enticing with its exclusivity and value. For example, the GR Corolla isn't built to mass-market standards and, instead, relies on the experts at Toyota's established GR Factory in Japan. The factory replaces the traditional conveyor production system with a modern layout that accommodates the GR Corolla's special assembly needs, guaranteeing vital build details like suspension and body alignment. With experts engaged in the build process, the GR Corolla isn't your average Toyota.
What else makes the Corolla-inspired speed demon so unique? It's time to find out! Here's everything we know about the upcoming 2023 Toyota GR Corolla.
While it shares its name with the popular Corolla, the GR Corolla takes its powerplant from the GR Yaris. Toyota's revolutionary 1.6L three-cylinder turbocharged engine makes its way under the hood of the GR Corolla, where it's mated to a six-speed manual transmission. What makes the powertrain so impressive is that Toyota improved the efficiency of the engine's exhaust system using a three-piece muffler with a capped-off valve and stainless steel tips. The larger exhaust valves and part-machined intake port add to the engine's capability as it roars to life, delivering 300 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque.
The engine's performance complements the GR Corolla's revolutionary GR-Four all-wheel drive system, marking another first for Toyota in over 20 years. The GR-Four all-wheel drive system was developed by rally drivers and is undeniably impressive with its available modes that allow you to finetune the GR Corolla's torque distribution to match your driving and performance needs. For example, you can switch to a 30:70 torque split when navigating a winding backroad, enhance stability with an even 50:50 split ideal for racing on the track, or navigate your daily commute with an efficient 60:40 split.
Even more impressively, the GR Corolla has available front and rear Torsen limited-slip differentials––a high-performance feature not found on any other vehicle in its segment. This option provides maximum traction in all situations, keeping all four wheels spinning even on loose or slippery surfaces. Altogether, the GR-Four system delivers a thrilling experience behind the wheel, especially when cornering.
The GR Corolla is a modern powerhouse, so it only makes sense that it's equipped with cutting-edge technology. This technology starts with the GR Corolla's 12.3-inch Multi-Information Display behind the steering wheel that gives you vital performance and driving data. For example, you'll see your speed, mileage, and fuel level as well as performance feedback like the GR meter with 4WD mode, a gear position indicator, and boost levels.
The driver's digital cockpit is impressive and pairs exceptionally well with the GR Corolla's 8.0-inch center touchscreen display that's home to Toyota's all-new Audio Multimedia system. While many systems can be counterintuitive and slow to respond, the GR Corolla's multimedia system is quite the opposite. It was designed specifically for drivers, which means it's intuitive and reactive so that you spend less time looking at the screen and more time focused on the road.
The center display also readies the hatchback for over-the-air updates from Toyota, ensuring your GR Corolla operates with the latest technology. While this great feature works behind the scenes, the display offers a host of technology designed specifically for you. For example, it outfits the hatchback with an Intelligent Assistant that allows you to use simple voice commands to navigate your route, find nearby points of interest, and adjust the radio and cabin temperature.
Beyond the Intelligent Assistant, the display puts your smartphone within reach via Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, or Android Auto. You can seamlessly sync your phone with the GR Corolla and immediately access your favorite apps with wireless smartphone integration. Your passengers can even sync their devices or connect to the hatchback's available Wi-Fi hotspot, which is ideal for streaming music, videos, and more.
The GR Corolla is destined for speed, and because of that, it makes your safety a top priority. As a result, every GR Corolla trim comes standard with the brand-new Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 suite of advanced safety technology that enhances your visibility, optimizes your focus, and reduces the potential for an accident. The suite includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection that constantly watches ahead of the GR Corolla, alerting you to potential collisions and even automatically braking under certain conditions. The hatch's Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist and Lane Tracing Assist are two other staples in the suite and help keep the GR Corolla safely in its lane regardless of how windy the road is.
You'll find that driving at highway speeds is more enjoyable with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which automatically adjusts the GR Corolla's cruising speed based on the flow of traffic. The system works with Lane Tracing Assist, which means it constantly reads the traffic ahead and the lane markings to optimize your position in the lane. The GR Corolla also comes equipped with automatic high beams, Road Sign Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, Hill Start Assist Control, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. These tools enhance your experience and engineer confidence when you're in the driver's seat.
Toyota extends this confidence with its standard Connected Services and Safety Connect. For example, the hatchback features an Emergency Assistance Button known as SOS that you can engage when you've been in a collision. The tool puts you in immediate contact with a representative who will contact local emergency personnel and send them to your location. If your airbags deploy, Safety Connect's Automatic Collision Notification will automatically alert emergency personnel, saving time in situations where every second counts. You can also use Safety Connect to take advantage of Toyota's 24-hour Enhanced Roadside Assistance, set maintenance alerts, and access vehicle health reports.
New and exclusive set the GR Corolla up for instant success in the Toyota lineup. The all-new GR Corolla will be available in two trims: the Core Grade and the Circuit Edition. The two-trim lineup may seem limited to some drivers, but it allows Toyota to focus on building two unique models that fit different driving and style needs.
The Core Grade is the GR Corolla's entry-level trim, but it's far from basic. Available in Supersonic Red, black, or white, the Core Grade will distinguish itself with a few unique features. For example, it will have a color-keyed roof with a rear lip spoiler in black, wide fender flares, and "GR-FOUR" stamped side rockers. Inside, the Core Grade reflects the GR Corolla's rally-inspired design with its exclusive GR sport upholstery and unique detailing that adds sophistication and style.
Exclusivity best characterizes the top-tier Circuit Edition, a limited-run model available in Supersonic Red, Heavy Metal, and white. Like the Core Grade, it features wide fenders and "GR-FOUR" stamped side rockers but sets itself apart with its forged carbon-fiber roof that's lightweight and aerodynamic. In addition, it features a vented hood bulge, gloss black air ducts, and a sportier rear spoiler, further distinguishing the exclusive trim. The Circuit Edition interior is just as impressive with suede-trimmed upholstery with red accent stitching and an exclusive shift knob signed with Akio Toyoda's racetrack pseudonym "Morizo."
The Circuit Edition also differentiates itself behind the scenes. It comes straight from the factory with front and rear Torsen limited-slip differentials that enhance its performance and stability. Its brakes are also marked with red-painted calipers, which further distinguishes the trims. However, these performance upgrades are also available on the Core Grade as part of the optional Performance Package.