Toyota finally unveils the GR Corolla hot hatch
Feast your eyes on the hottest road-going Corolla that Toyota has made. The GR Corolla.
For so long, we’ve been teased. We’ve been given glimpses of it. We even knew that it’d use the G16E 1.6-litre engine out of the GR Yaris months ahead of its premiere. And finally, Toyota’s Gazoo Racing division has unveiled the car in full.
In the looks department though, it is a cracking looking thing. A wider stance, swollen arches, bigger vents, gloss black 18-inch rims and 4-piston brake callipers in the front with slotted discs. While it might not be a rally homologation model like the GR Yaris, it’s still a very very VERY attractive proposition. Let’s delve into the numbers because under the hood, the news is good.
As mentioned before, the GR Corolla uses the same 1.6-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine as its little brother. But in the GR Corolla’s application, turbo boost pressures have been increased to bump the 1.6-litre’s output to 304 horsepower, a healthy increase from the GR Yaris’s 268 horsepower. We’re told that the GR Corolla uses an all-new valved exhaust system that reduces back pressure to allow for the car's increased power output.
Instead of opting for a different power unit, the boffins at Gazoo Racing have decided to retain the G16E engine due to its lightweight power-dense characteristics. With a specific output of nearly 190hp/litre, we won’t question the engineers. That’s a specific output that’s knocking on the door of Mercedes-AMG’s 2.0-litre M139 engine, which we’ve seen in the GLA45 S AMG and CLA45 S AMG. So it’s a proper pocket rocket innit?
Like the GR Yaris, it features the same manual 6-speed iMT transmission that has auto rev-matching. And it has Toyota’s GR-FOUR 4WD system that can send up to 70% of power to the rear axle for smokey situations, or an even 50:50 split for more serious track work.
No word on acceleration times or top speed figures, but given the GR Yaris’s 0-100km/h time of 5.5 seconds, we can safely assume that the GR Corolla could have performance figures that put it within the realm of other hot hatches like the Civic Type R, VW Golf GTI and by extension, the Skoda Octavia RS.
Elsewhere, the GR Corolla’s chassis has been stiffened up compared to the standard Corolla hatch. Over 300 more weld spots, almost 3 meters more sealant, and a forged carbon roof in case of the Circuit Edition. Nothing major.
We want it. We want it badly. But according to our friends over at TopGear UK, the Brits won’t be getting this hot hatch. A crying shame, really.
However, if it were to come to Singapore (and that is a BIG if), we’d hazard a guess and say it could be priced a couple of grand more than the GR Yaris. And it’ll probably be a limited run model like the GR Yaris. So, who’s holding out hope? We know we are.
PHOTOS Toyota Motor Corporation