The reality that the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla exists the least bit is some thing of a minor miracle. As the story goes, some madmen named Morizo has been stomping round Toyota’s international headquarters, stressful that its Gazoo Racing branch make bigger, build, and partner with a sequence of impractical and awesome sports activities sports automobiles.
To the delight of vehicle fanatics the world over, he’s been getting his way. There are GR-engineered versions of the Supra, 86, Yaris, and now the Corolla. What will Morizo-can reflect onconsideration on next? We cannot wait to see. GR Camry, definitely everyone? He wouldn’t. Or may want to he?
It allows at the same time as you’re the man or woman collectively in conjunction with your name on the building, as Morizo’s the adjust ego of none aside from Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda himself. You must supply it as a great deal because the man or woman: He loves to strength, he races, and he often tells his engineers to transport again to the drawing board if he does now no longer think an vehicle is proper enough, as he reportedly did with the GR Corolla. (He moreover had the group make bigger a terrific higher-ordinary overall performance, Morizo Edition model, because of the direction he did.)
How has all that more development in art work paid off? We’ve been equipped patiently to get the GR Corolla out to the test track to discover, anticipating some time what the anime-styled heat hatch might also additionally need to perform with its 300-hp, 1.6-liter speedy inline 3-cylinder engine, and six-pace manual transmission.
This isn’t always some half-baked, the the front-strength wild child, either. The GR Corolla comes with all-wheel strength imparting the the front and rear Torsen restrained-slip differentials and a driver-adjustable the front-to-rear torque break-up setup that might shove as lots as 70 percentage of to-be-had torque to the again end. It shares a number of its mechanicals with the GR Yaris, which become built especially as a homologation particular for Toyota’s World Rally Championship race vehicle. This is a drastically well-crafted heat hatch.
GR Corolla In A Straight Line: Good, But Not Its Bag
Although straight-line ordinary overall performance isn’t always this vehicle’s reason for being (Toyota’s press preview strength become restrained to track driving), the GR Corolla stays fairly quick. Our test squad recorded a 0-60-mph time of 5. 4 seconds, that is severa ticks off Toyota’s manufacturer estimate of “4. ninety-9 seconds.” The group chalked up the difference to more than one factors, about which you could take a look at more in their breakdown of the numbers. The location mile arrived in 13.7 seconds at 101.2 mph.
“You can genuinely hit 60 mph with one shift in case you are willing to break into the rev limiter,” attempting out director Eric Tingwall said. “But if you are attempting to transport beyond that pace, you could emerge as moving earlier.”
For some contexts, we’ve were given gathered a smorgasbord of 0-60 and location-mile times we recorded from its tangential and direct competition, every internal and external, such as the 2021 Supra 2.0 (4. 8 sec/13.4 sec at 103.1 mph); 2022 Toyota 86 (5. 8 sec/14.3 sec at 98.7 mph); 2022 Volkswagen Golf R (4.2 sec/12.8 sec at 108.7 mph); 2021 Hyundai Veloster N (5.1 sec/13.7 sec at 102. 9 mph); 2022 Hyundai Kona N (5. 3 sec/13.9 sec at 101.1 mph); and the 2021 Honda Civic Type R (5. 3 sec/13.7 sec at 107. 8 mph). The GR Corolla runs sort of mid-% with this group, although it scooted via the location with the fine of the fast of the Golf R, which dominated from a stoplight drag standpoint.
But as we’ve were given pointed out, the GR Corolla isn’t always that type of vehicle. Throw a GR motorsports livery on it, and you will swear you may roll well onto the Acropolis Rally direction and start hucking it off huge jumps. It’s all angles and bulges and scoops and inlets, and get this: They’re all functional. It’s moreover funky-looking and now now no longer for everyone. Some will make fun at its quirky, herky-jerky looks; others will deem it a mini mean machine. Choose your side.
Showing Off Its Feistier Side
When it includes our dynamic measurements, the test team decided on to praise the GR Corolla for what it changed into capable of do. “In tune mode with stability off, it’s far in reality feisty and has a side to it,” street test editor Chris Walton said.
“Yes, you want to rev it to get the general overall performance out of it, however, it’s far in reality enthusiastic and capable.”
How capable? Out on the skidpad, its 0. ninety-4 g not unusualplace range brings up the rear of the grouping of vehicles we referenced above (it fits the Kona N and Golf R; all distinctive vehicles beat them). The song changed into lots the equal spherical our MotorTrend decide eight, wherein its 25.0-second at 0. seventy-5 g (avg) time without a doubt barely bested the Kona N (25.1 sec at 0. seventy-3 g) and trailed every distinctive car.
Despite now now no longer being a global-beating heat hatch from a handling standpoint, Walton recommended the GR Corolla changed into “very crisp and trustworthy” in some unspecified time in the future of his at-the-limition attempting out. “Its mind-set on the skidpad changed into through and massive independent with a whiff of understeer, and I might also additionally need to pin the throttle nicely in advance than they exit to allow the the front wheels to capture some asphalt and aspect it,” he said.
In the stopping power department, the GR Corolla’s 60-0-mph braking type of 110 toes changed into moreover near the go back of the bus, with best the two Hyundai vehicles taking longer to stop. That did now no longer hold the test team from praising its brakes, despite the fact that, they recommended being powerful, consistent, and easy to modulate.
Living With It
Although we’ve now no longer had a ton of seat time withinside the GR Corolla outdoor of our attempting-out facility, we had been able to discern more than one things. It’s small, so do now no longer anticipate it to swallow up masses of gear or haul loads of humans, despite the fact that the rear seat isn’t always a entire penalty box for surely all of us sitting lower back there for a extended time.
The test team had an immoderate praise for the car’s six-pace manual transmission—the best gearbox to be had—and indeed, the hold close is easy to use and the transmission programming includes one of the better rev-matching competencies we’ve were given encountered. In the cockpit, the GR packs the modern-day Corolla tech, including eight.0-inch infotainment screen. But the real hold close of ceremonies is the 12. 3-inch device panel with specific GR touches including a start-up animation plus AWD mode, speedy pressure, and shift indicators.
The cool difficulty of the device panel couldn’t quite masks the truth, despite the fact that, that withinside the end, this is however a Corolla in masses of respects, and as such, there are numerous areas withinside the cabin in that you start to wonder if this is an interior really well worth of an car that starts offevolved offevolved near—and might exceed—$40,000. And at the same time as it’s far pretty obvious, it bears mentioning that this isn’t the kind of car you can want to take lengthy trips in.
That all being said, if ever there was an “it difficulty” car, the GR Corolla is it. This hatchback won’t wow you with numbers or it’s interior or slick immoderate style. Instead, it’s far an expertly engineered sports activities sports hatch that Morizo-san wanted. And what Morizo wants, he gets. We’re all better off for him being in charge of Toyota, and the vehicles that his business enterprise builds similar to the GR Corolla. Now wherein’s that GR Camry already?