GR Corolla
GR Corolla

Meet Toyota’s killer GR Corolla

Riley Riley

Corolla is and has for a long time been the best selling car in the world, but could not be described as an excitement machine.

That all changes with the 220kW GR Corolla, set to arrive towards the end of the year.

Corollas will never be the same again.

GR Corolla will be the fourth GR sports-car model to be launched in Australia, joining GR Supra, GR Yaris and the upcoming GR86.

Its performance credentials include a strengthened version of the homologation-special three-cylinder GR Yaris engine, as well as the GR-FOUR all-wheel-drive system, front and rear Torsen limited-slip differentials and six-speed manual transmission with a short-stroke gear shift lever.

A valve-equipped triple-exhaust muffler improves airflow, unleashing maximum output of 220kW from the intercooled turbo engine, a gain of 10 per cent.

Development by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing engineers kept faith with the performance brand’s mission to make ever-better cars, bred from extensive experience in motorsport.

GR Corolla prototypes included a race car powered by a hydrogen-fuelled internal combustion engine that competed in last year’s Super Taikyu endurance series in Japan with a “drive it until it breaks and fix it to win” approach.

Toyota Master Driver Morizo (aka global president Akio Toyoda) took stints behind the wheel.

Prototypes were also assessed by champion Japanese circuit and rally drivers as well as in-house evaluators.

GR Corolla combines the underpinnings from GR Yaris underpinnings with an athletic five-door version of the world’s best-selling nameplate, with wider fenders than the standard hatch.

Cooling and aerodynamics benefit from a front-bumper air intake, along with air outlets for the front fender and bonnet bulge.

The GR-FOUR all-wheel drive system uses an electronic multi-plate clutch to provide variable front and rear driving force.

Engineers have separated the system’s “4WD” mode (which controls driving force distribution) and “Drive” mode (which controls accelerator response, steering and other systems), enabling selection according to driver preference and the driving environment.

Pillow-ball bushings and enhanced springs, shock absorbers and wheel alignment further contribute to maximum cornering control.

Body rigidity has been strengthened to achieve driving performance that responds instantly to driver operation.

In addition to a highly rigid frame, braces have been added between the rear wheel wells, to the under-floor tunnel, and under the floor in front of the fuel tank — to improve stability.

Opposed-calliper disc brakes provide stable braking and control, enabling confident and enjoyable driving, even on racing circuits.

A hand-operated parking brake has been used to allow better vehicle control even when pushing the car to its limits, such as when drifting.

The instrument cluster incorporates a TFT info screen designed to be clearly visible during sporty driving.

Completing the package is a five-seat layout that ensures it is equally equipped for daily life as well as driving pleasure.

GR Corolla is due to arrive locally in the final quarter of 2022.


CHECKOUT: Toyota GR Yaris Rallye: Distilled for thrills

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