By and large, he was the only automaker who didn’t really make a proper player in this segment Toyota. While there was the Matrix XRS, and various sports versions of the Corolla, there was never a proper hot hatchback on offer. That changes now with the GR Corolla Madness.
Note: While we wait for official word from consumers about the upcoming GR Corolla, HotCars’ default “costs, facts and figures” rating is 1 out of 10. Once we start deciding what owners of this upcoming car think, we’ll be sure to update the score to reflect what drivers think.
- Three-cylinder turbo
- Manual transmission only
- four wheel drive
- Model: GR Corolla
- Engine / Engine: 1.6L TURBO THREE CYLINDER
- horse power: 300 hp
- torque: 295 lbs ft
- payment system: Transverse front engine, four-wheel drive
- Connecting: 6 speed manual
- Dramatic design
- Proven and robust powertrain
- Unstoppable processing
- The look is not to everyone’s liking
- Interior quality is still Corolla
- Slightly expensive prices
Corolla 2023 GR Overview
The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla is the first true Corolla performance derivative introduced by Toyota in North America. It’s the second hot hatchback from the automaker to wear the GR badge, after the GR Yaris, which completely exploded onto the scene and is considered by many to be the greatest Toyota ever. We’ll take the GR Yaris on some sports cars any day of the week. Unlike some previous Corolla models, the GR Corolla is a decent hot hatchback, and give the competition a bit of worry. Toyota used the hatchback version of the Corolla as a starting point, and gave it some obvious changes to show that these aren’t any typical Toyota specs.
The front end has a more aggressive front end, with a much larger grille to improve engine cooling, plus functional brake ducts and a small GR badge. On the side, there are some very large fender flares, which cover larger and unique alloy wheel designs. They also exist for another good reason. In the back, there is a large spoiler, and a huge rear diffuser with three, Contem, three exhaust pipes. This equates to one exhaust pipe per cylinder, two in the corners of the diffuser, and one in the middle. The GR Corolla debuted in Core and Circuit variants, as well as the super powerful Morizo Edition. It competes with the likes of the VW Golf GTI, Golf R, Honda Civic Type R and Hyundai Veloster N, at least while the latter is still for sale.
Corolla 2023 GR engine and drivetrain
The GR Corolla comes with only one engine. The 1.6-liter three-cylinder engine is very similar to the one on the GR Yaris, except that it has more power here. The three pots now generate 300 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, the latter rising to 295 if you select the Morizo Edition. This gives this powertrain a specific capacity of 185 hp per liter, which is 52 hp per liter compared to the Ferrari 458 Speciale. Remember that, at the end of the day, this is a Toyota Corolla. This gives the GR Corolla a 0-60 time of around 5.5 seconds. Being a three-cylinder, you can also expect it to have a pleasant engine note. All power goes to the wheels exclusively through a six-speed manual transmission, as well as the Toyota GR-FOUR AWD system, which also debuted on the GR Yaris.
AWD allows the driver to choose between different power splits, including sending up to 70% of the power to the rear wheels to eject the tail, as well as a 50/50 split for crazy grip and everyday situations. And the Morizo version, in addition to increasing the torque number, completely eliminates the rear seats, has a gearbox closer, and comes standard with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. However, Toyota will build only 200 Morizo Edition models. , so for most buyers, Core and Circuit edges will do the trick. Circle trim also includes front and rear limited-slip differentials as standard, which should improve handling even more, although you can select those in the base trim level if you’d like.
2023 GR Corolla Comfort and Quality
Inside, there are a few minor changes to let you know that this is a somewhat special car. The most obvious difference is the manual transmission in the middle, but there are a few other touches as well. You get a unique steering wheel design, with the GR badge on the bottom. Aluminum pedals and Alcantara bucket seats are also on the list. The instrument panel is now digital, as on all Corolla 2023 models, and comes with its own unique performance offerings. Interestingly, most versions of the GR Corolla retain all of their amenities, such as adaptive cruise control, automatic climate control, heated seats and a backup camera.
Although this is a fun and interesting hatchback, Toyota has not forgotten about safety. The GR Corolla comes with a surprising amount of safety features as standard, including the aforementioned adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, which includes pedestrian detection, as well as lane departure warning with lane keep assist. Aside from the Morizo version, the Corolla seats five, and assuming the GR-FOUR system didn’t steal space, the cargo area features the same 17.8-cubic-foot space as the regular Corolla hatchback.
2023 GR Corolla Pricing and Launch
The Toyota GR Corolla 2023 is scheduled to reach dealerships sometime before the end of the year. Toyota hasn’t announced pricing as of August 2022, but we expect the base price to start at around $30,000, the Circuit trim around $38,000, and the Morizo version somewhere in the $40,000 range. That’s a lot of money for a Toyota Corolla, but given what you’re getting, it could definitely be worth it.