Toyota boss Akio Toyoda wanted to launch a Corolla that would “captivate” customers, and what better starting point than the engine from the GR Yaris? The 1.6-litre three-cylinder single-scroll turbo was carried over to this Corolla. It featured a “flap-controlled triple muffler” to reduce backpressure, multiple oil-jet piston cooling larger exhaust valves and a partially machined intake.
Here we have the latest salvo in Toyota‘s ongoing mission to spice up a brand generally regarded as… non-spicy. The GR Corolla is a hatchback tailored for motorsport that, like its little brother GR Yaris, has a powerful turbo engine and plenty of grip and power.
The Corolla’s puffy flanks have a healthy amount of power and torque: 300bhp and 272lb-ft, a healthy increase over the Yaris’ 257bhp/266lb-ft. As for the swollen sides, the Corolla Sport’s bodywork has been carried over, and the front and rear tracks widened (60 m and 85 mm, respectively).
This swollen footprint sits a switchable four-wheel-drive system that can split power front and rear in a 60:40 ratio for everyday use, 50:50 for circuits and even 30:70 for “fun on twisty roads”. Well, Toyota presented the car at a Formula Drift event.
There’s a limited-slip differential front and rear, a standard six-speed manual gearbox with short shift travel and rev-matching, fancy brakes (ventilated discs, aluminium callipers) and lots of aluminium for the body panels (it weighs 1,474kg). There is a ‘Circuit Edition’ that gets a carbon roof.
The design is also compelling. Some of the eye-catching visual changes are flared arches, gloss black detailing, 18-inch wheels, a bonnet bulge with functional air ducts, and a rear spoiler. Inside, you’ll find a 12.3-inch display, a GR counter, faux leather/suede seats, and a sound stereo system if you opt for the Circuit Edition.
However, none of it sounds remotely interesting. Didn’t even want it anyway.
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