10 Reasons Why The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Is The Hottest Hatch Today

The Toyota GR Corolla is a pocket-rocket that will give you oodles of fun without breaking the bank

Toyota’s GR division recently unveiled its latest project, the all-new Toyota GR Corolla which plans to capitalize on the success of Gazoo Racing and is the perfect sequel to the limited-run GR Yaris. With deliveries expected to commence before the end of 2022 for the entry-level "Core" variant, the new GR Corolla range has to be the most eagerly awaited Hot Hatchback of the year, so before we get to see these running around the street, here are ten reasons why the Toyota GR Corolla is the hottest new hatchback that should be on your shopping list.

Revolutionary Engine Technology

10 Reasons Why The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Is The Hottest Hatch Today
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The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-three engine. This engine was first seen in the Homologation special GR Yaris where it produced 260 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. But, for the bigger GR Corolla, Toyota has dialed things up with an all-new three-port exhaust system that helps reduce backpressure and helps this little three-cylinder engine make 300 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque.

Grippy All-Wheel Drive

10 Reasons Why The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Is The Hottest Hatch Today
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Toyota’s motorsports experience and the consequent success of Gazoo Racing are now starting to rub off on Toyota’s mainstream production line-up. The first example was the AWD GR Yaris which has a limited production run of just 2,500 copies, and now the same technology has made its way into the 2023 GR Corolla, an even more mainstream car. The GR four-wheel-drive system was developed for WRC application and comes with a differential that splits torque between the front and rear wheels in 60:40, 30:70, and 50:50 ratios. In addition, you can opt for a front or rear LSD, which combined with the well-optimized drive modes, should in theory make for a much more enjoyable setup than its closest rival, the Golf R.

Three Pedals Only

10 Reasons Why The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Is The Hottest Hatch Today
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Coming back to the Golf R, the GR Corolla’s closest rival comes with a brilliant Haldex-based 4Motion AWD system and the choice of either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed DCT. The GR Corolla, however, takes a different route and offers just a six-speed manual transmission and the ability to send up to 70-percent of the engine’s power to the rear wheels. The slick-shifting gearbox and the well-spaced pedal box make heel-toe driving a breeze and help make the most of that inline-three turbo’s punchy powerband.

Practical Four-Door Design

10 Reasons Why The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Is The Hottest Hatch Today
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Despite the structural changes, it continues to make use of the same monocoque design as the regular Toyota Corolla Hybrid hatchback. As a result, it offers the same interior room and boot space as the highly practical and sensible Corolla hatchback which makes this a very practical option and a perfect one-car solution for small families. The interior is finished in an all-black theme with ample use of Alcantara and red accents that are bespoke to the GR Corolla to make it unique. In addition, there are also GR-specific graphics and dials for the digital instrument cluster and infotainment setup.

Superior Chassis Stiffness

10 Reasons Why The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Is The Hottest Hatch Today
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While the GR Yaris features a bespoke two-door body unlike its mainstream counterpart, the GR Corolla shares the same four-door monocoque GA-C platform as the regular Corolla. However, Toyota has made crucial improvements to stiffen the monocoque, which includes additional weld points and adding structural adhesive to key stress points for improved stiffness. The more extreme Circuit Edition even comes with a forged carbon roof which not only reduces weight and lowers the center of gravity, but also improves chassis rigidity to help improve handling and overall feedback.

Astonishing Horsepower-per-liter

10 Reasons Why The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Is The Hottest Hatch Today
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So far we have established that the 2023 GR Corolla is the hot hatchback that takes lightness seriously. The lightweight three-cylinder turbo engine makes 185.4 horsepower per liter, one of the highest horsepower per liter figures in the industry, Just to put this into perspective, a Bugatti Veyron is good for 183.3 horsepower per liter.

Track Day Specials

10 Reasons Why The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Is The Hottest Hatch Today
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Only 1,500 examples are destined for production in the first batch. Here, the Circuit Edition will be the range-topping version of the GR Corolla and is expected to reach dealerships in the first half of 2023. For the extra $8,000 to $10,000 over the base GR Corolla, the Circuit pack brings in a host of upgrades, which include a larger rear wing, a forged carbon-fiber roof, upgraded sports seats, and a shift knob signed by Toyota’s President.

10 Reasons Why The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Is The Hottest Hatch Today Exterior
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But, in case that doesn’t cut it for you, then the GR Corolla Morizo Edition is the car for you. Limited to just 200 units, the Morizo Edition receives a few noteworthy changes over the Circuit pack and the biggest change has to be the lack of a rear seat that helps shed 106 pounds of weight. In addition to the lightweight treatment, the Morizo Edition also comes with 22 additional pound-feet of torque and even stickier Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber.

Competitive Pricing

10 Reasons Why The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Is The Hottest Hatch Today
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Toyota’s GR Corolla range is available in two distinct trim levels starting with the entry-level "core" variant with an expected starting price of just $32,000. Then comes the range-topping Circuit Edition trim which packs a more aggressive aero, a forged carbon-fiber roof, and special touches like a "Morizo" signed gear lever, and the cost for all this goodness is expected to be between $40,000 and $45,000. The Circuit Edition expected to arrive a little later in the first half of 2023.

GR Racing Pedigree

10 Reasons Why The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Is The Hottest Hatch Today
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Gazoo Racing (GR) division officially started developing cars for Toyota in 2009, and since then, GR is renowned for making some of the best motorsport-winning cars in recent years. Its motorsport efforts have led to Toyota competing in a wide range of events including WRC, and its expertise in the field has directly rubbed off on its latest pet project, the 202 GR Corolla. This car takes the record-breaking turbo three-cylinder engine and drivetrain from the limited-run GR Yaris hatchback and combines it with the practicality of the humble Corolla. The GR Corolla is a true homage to the glorious hot hatches of yesteryears.

WRC Connection

10 Reasons Why The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Is The Hottest Hatch Today
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Toyota and its humble Corolla hatchback have been an integral part of the world of rally since 1997 when the Toyota Corolla WRC was introduced. It was based on the European Corolla three-door hatchback (E110) and powered by a modified 3S-GTE engine. Fast forward to 2022, and the all-new GR Corolla is essentially a road-going rally car that is largely based on the GR Yaris Rally 1. It makes use of the same ingenious AWD system and the mighty 1.6-liter turbo inline-three combo.

FAQs

How much is a Toyota Corolla GR Sport?

The Toyota Corolla GR Sport is expected to start at around $32,000 and top out in the ballpark of $45,000.

When will the Toyota Corolla GR be available?

Toyota will launch the entry-level "Core" model of the GR Corolla by the fall of 2022, while the Range-topping "Circuit Pack" is expected to launch by early 2023.

Is the Toyota Corolla GR AWD?

Yes, the Toyota GR Corolla comes with an advanced GR AWD system that can send up to 70-percent of the engine’s power to the rear wheels and comes with optional electronic LSDs to attain optimal traction.

What does GR mean in Toyota?

GR stands for "Gazoo Racing", Toyota’s motorsport division that officially started developing cars for Toyota in 2009, and since then GR has been responsible for some of the most recognizable and frantic modern Toyotas that take inspiration from the world of motorsports.

Will the GR Corolla be sold in the U.S.?

Yes. the GR Corolla will be available in the U.S. when it goes on sale by the end of 2022.

Bhavik Sreenath
Bhavik Sreenath
A keen automotive enthusiast with a love for anything with engines. He loves discovering the world of cars and technology to explore new boundaries in the field of modern-day journalism.  Read full bio
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