Toyota GR Corolla races into SA

Toyota joins hot hatch party with GR Corolla

Reuben Van Niekerk
New model
Toyota Gazoo racing
GR Corolla
Toyota GR Corolla

Toyota’s latest addition to their Toyota Gazoo racing portfolio, the GR Corolla features a turbocharged petrol engine, all-wheel drive, wider front and rear track, completely overhauled suspension and design features and styling that clearly set it apart from the rest of the Corolla family.

Based on the popular Corolla hatch, the GR Corolla is underpinned by the acclaimed TNGA-C platform which has been significantly enhanced for high performance driving dynamics.

Sporty exterior design

Designers and engineers worked in harmony to shape the GR Corolla’s exterior design and made a variety of changes that give it a sporty appearance and improve the vehicle’s performance, aerodynamics, and handling.

Track has been increased by 60mm at the front and 90mm at the rear to facilitate optimal grip and roadholding and the front and rear wheel arches have been extended by 20 and 30mm respectively to accommodate these increases and at the same time emphasise the vehicles wide and low stance.

The GR Corolla features a completely revised front end which is centred around the blacked-out signature functional matrix grille which features a powerful square design that offers superb cooling performance for the radiator, turbocharger, and brakes. Side air curtains channel air into the wheel arches and out via ducts behind the fenders. A large under spoiler with raised central and horizontal section has been designed to control airflow under the vehicle and reduce drag while aero spats placed underneath the lower bumper aid aerodynamics. LED headlights with automatic high beam are surrounded by the same sweeping daytime running light as the Corolla hatch.

Along the side, body coloured door handles offer a premium look, while the revised lower rocker mouldings feature embossed GR-Four lettering. Side mirrors and alloy wheels are finished in black to compliment the grille and rear bumper.

At the rear, a diffuser surrounds the GR Corollas unique triple exit exhaust system. LED taillight clusters match that of the Corolla hatch.

Inside story

The interior clearly reflects the GR Corolla’s performance intentions with an array of unique features and specification upgrades. This includes a three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel and a redesigned centre console that houses the short-throw shift lever. Aluminium pedals are perfectly spaced for heel/toe driving. Heated sport seats are upholstered in a mixture of Brin-Naub suede and leather.

A unique 12.3-inch instrument display allows the driver to customise the layout based on their preference of driving information. A centrally mounted seven-inch touchscreen display houses Toyota’s advanced multimedia system, offering compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Under the bonnet

At the heart of the GR Corolla is a high-performance turbocharged 1.6-litre three-cylinder engine that offers 221kW at 6 500rpm and 360Nm from 3 000rpm.

A drivetrain that enhances the dynamics

Transforming this power into forward momentum is a variety of innovative components. The TNGA-C architecture offers excellent torsional rigidity. Engineers have further strengthened the chassis with an additional 349 spot welds and the GR Corolla gains 2784mm of structural adhesive. Reinforcement braces have been added to the underfloor, front and rear suspension members and between the rear wheels.

The GR Corolla’s suspension has been reworked with increased track. At the front, a light and rigid MacPherson strut type suspension setup is used with increased camber and optimised suspension geometry. At the rear a highly modified double-wishbone suspension arrangement is used along with newly designed components including shock absorbers, coil springs, suspension arms bushings, stabiliser and axle carrier.

Stopping power is courtesy of four-piston aluminium monobloc front callipers and 356mm ventilated two-piece disc brakes. Red brake callipers are emblazoned with the GR logo.

Three drive modes are available that allow the drivers to change the parameters of the powertrain, suspension, steering, and air conditioning marked Eco, Normal and Sport.

Model line-up and pricing

All GR Corolla models are sold with a nine-services/90 000km service plan and a three-year/100 000km warranty.

The GR Corolla is available in limited numbers and customers are encouraged to register their interest with their nearest dealer as soon as they can.

Toyota GR Corolla 1.6T Core R841 000

Toyota GR Corolla 1.6T Circuit R902 400


Browse used ad demo Toyota Corolla models here.