Here’s Why The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Is The Perfect Budget-Friendly Performance Car

The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla didn’t even know it wanted a hot hatch gearhead until the model was announced last March. Along with its debut, Toyota It has proven once again that it is very capable of keeping the hot hatch market alive. This newest member of the Corolla family took a lot of input from his Gazoo Racing division of the company, namely the GR.

Gearhead said he didn’t know he wanted this car because he wasn’t expecting a 300-horsepower hatchback with a stick-shifter powering a torque-splitting AWD system completed by a sweet exhaust note. Technical director Frank Marcus called the car a “great little hot hatch” after taking it for a test drive at Hyundai’s proving grounds in California.

This tiny hatchback will command respect from the likes of the Volkswagen Golf R and Honda Civic Type R. Lack of diversity. Below are the details of Toyota’s latest budget-friendly performance vehicle.

Related: 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Circuit Edition Review: The Hottest Hatch

What is a GR Corolla and why should you care?

Via Toyota

The GR Corolla is a 5-pass 4-door high performance hot hatch version of the Toyota E210 Corolla compact hatchback series. This model is exclusive to North America, like the Euro-focused Yaris is not available in the Canadian and US markets. However, Japan and Thailand would have him owning nine cars, while Australia, Brazil and New Zealand would own it later.

Toyota has partnered with the company’s Gazoo Racing Performance division to build the GR Corolla and Yaris. They assemble both cars at the GR Factory in their Motomachi facility in Japan. So why should he care anymore about one hot his hatch coming to market?

First and foremost, the GR Corolla offers enthusiasts and average gearheads a chance to own a brand new high performance car at an affordable price. The GR Corolla is more budget-friendly than rivals such as the Golf R and Civic Type R. The GR’s competitive pricing, along with competitors such as the Civic Si and Hyundai, will help eclipse the aforementioned top-tier hot hatch models for market share. Veloster N, VW Golf GTI, Jetta GLI.

Volkswagen, for example, offers the Golf R at a starting price of $44,090, nearly $8,000 more than the base GR Corolla Core. But price isn’t the only reason the GR Corolla is an important addition to the American hot hatch scene. After Toyota hot hatches like the 1987 Corolla FX16 GT-S disappeared for decades, GR is why Gearhead is now able to use the terms “hot hatch” and “Corolla” again in the same sentence.

Additionally, hot hatch fans will appreciate the arrival of the GR Corolla to help revive a troubled segment as automakers refuse to produce such low-volume models and model hot hatches continue to die. I’m here. We’ve already lost the Ford Focus ST and we’ve lost the now beloved Subaru WRX STI. The GR is also important to show the industry that Toyota is still concerned with performance and not just big sedans like the Camry and his RAV4 or his C-SUV.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla powertrain and performance

2023-Toyota-GR-Corolla-Circuit-Edition engine
Photo by Bassem Girgis

The Toyota GR Corolla’s demeanor makes you think Frank Marcus meant “little beast” or “little monster” when he called the car “a fine little hot hatch.” GR Factory borrowed Yaris’ 1.6-liter 3-cylinder turbo engine and installed it in the GR Corolla as the only mill. But that’s not before tuning the engine to produce his updated 300 hp, 185.4 hp/litre, more than a 43 pony cooler than the GR Yaris sold worldwide, except in North America.

The sole engine also marries a sole six-speed manual transmission that accompanies the altar via a standard 4WD system. Well, this AWD system of his has some tricks. Inspired by rally racing and incorporating input from world rally car drivers, the GR’s AWD allows the driver to choose where to direct the engine’s power.

In other words, drivers can choose power distribution modes ranging from 60/40 front and rear torque distribution for daily driving needs to 30/70 to support tail-out antics. Split option for maximum traction in closed course racing. Additionally, the GR Corolla uses Torsenhi limited-slip diffs front and rear to manage left-right torque and improve cornering. The base model comes standard with an open differential.

RELATED: These Are The 10 Fastest Hot Hatches On The Market Today

2023 Toyota GR Corolla Special Edition

2023 Toyota GR Corolla Gray Studio Shot

The trim level is higher than the special editions, such as the basic core, the mid-level circuit, and the top-of-the-line Morisot edition. The first is priced at $36,995, the second at $43,995, and the top-of-the-line Morizo ​​Edition at $50,995. If there is an actual special edition Toyota GR Corolla today, it’s a limited edition (only 200 units for the 2013 model year) track-ready Morizo ​​that’s about 100 pounds lighter than the mid-level Circuit Edition.

In other words, the Morizo ​​Edition weighs 3,186 pounds, which is achieved by removing the rear seats and adding a forged carbon fiber roof (also available on the Circuit Edition). Remove the speakers and window regulators, rear wiper blades and motors from the rear doors. I don’t think he needs to watch number 6 on track day.

As a result, the Morizo ​​performs better than other models and handles better. Horsepower remained unchanged, but torque increased by 22 lb-ft over his Circuit Edition. Perhaps to compensate for the stagnant horsepower, GR retuned the Morizo’s suspension with monotube shock absorbers and put 10 mm (0.4 in) wide tires on lighter rims.

The Morizo’s improved handling is also thanks to 349 additional spot welds that increase body rigidity. GR Corolla Morizo ​​His edition was named after President Akio Toyoda’s racing nickname.

Unless you’re a die-hard enthusiast who sacrifices backseat and a few critical vehicle components at the altar of speed, you should be perfectly happy with the base core trim. Performance Package (includes front and rear limited slip diffs) Just add , and you’re good to go.

Warranty Package for 2023 Toyota GR Corolla

2023 Toyota GR Corolla Side Profile

The GR Corolla comes with a standard 3 year / 36,000 mile limited warranty and a 5 year / 60,000 mile powertrain warranty package. This includes a free 2-year (or 25,000 miles) scheduled maintenance plan, like all Toyota models sold statewide. You’ll also get his free one-year membership to the National Auto Sport Association, which provides access to free high-performance driving classes, regardless of the trim of your GR Corolla in your garage.

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