Rumours surrounding the Toyota GR Corolla date back to the early days of 2020 when Akio Toyoda, the brand’s president, recognised the interest to bring back a Corolla that captivates the imagination of buyers.
Two years later, the new GR Corolla has finally made its debut spawning a strengthened version of the 1.6-litre in-line three-cylinder, turbo engine from the GR Yaris. Thanks to the upgrades, the engine now produces 224 kW of power and 370 Nm of torque sent to all four wheels via the GR-Four 4WD system and a 6-speed manual transmission with rev-matching functionality.
Depending on the driver’s preference, the GR-Four all-wheel-drive system features selectable 60-40, 50-50 and 30-70 front-rear torque split settings.
Toyota isn’t making any mentions of performance figures but judging by the numbers and its 1,280 kg weight, the GR Corolla should be quicker than the GR Yaris it shares an engine with, probably in the region where VW’s Golf R plays.
The new Toyota GR Corolla, according to Toyota, adopts the basic body framework of the Corolla Sport to enable it to inherit the high-speed stability of a long wheelbase. As such, it features a 60 mm wider track upfront and 85 mm at the back.
To make up for its sporty stance, the GR Corolla boasts 20 mm wider front fenders and 30 mm wider rear fenders. As strange as it may look, there are triple exhaust tips that we hope sound as good as they look. The exterior is further fitted with a front bumper air intake, front fender and hood bulge outlets.
It rides on 18” gloss black 15-spoke cast alloy wheels shod with 235/40R18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres. These are home to ventilated discs, 18” aluminium opposed four-pot callipers in the front and ventilated discs, and 16” aluminium opposed two-pot callipers at the rear.
The interior comes fitted with a full TFT metre developed strictly for GR models and Toyota says it improves visibility during spirited driving. The GR Corolla also has a short-stroke shift lever as well as a hand-operated parking brake for better control when ‘drifting’.
There is a 12.3” digital infotainment system as well as an 8” infotainment system mounted on the centre of the dash.
In terms of safety, the GR Corolla features the latest active safety package and Toyota Safety Sense as standard.