Toyota unveils GR Corolla

Toyota expands GR offering with unveiling of hottest Corolla yet

Reuben Van Niekerk
GR Corolla
Toyota GR Corolla

Toyota Gazoo Racing has unveiled the all-new GR Corolla, ahead of its planned global launch later this year.


The GR Corolla was born out of President Akio Toyoda’s desire to bring back a Corolla that captivates customers. As such during development of the GR Corolla designers aimed to build a car that is both capable of winning races and commercially available.


Under the bonnet

The GR Corolla is fitted with a strengthened version of the 1.6-litre in-line three-cylinder intercooler engine found in the GR Yaris, resulting in a maximum output of 224kW at 6500rpm and 370Nm from 3000rpm.


Motorsport derived underpinnings

Optimising the GR-Four AWD system was prioritised to ensure a vehicle that is safe and easy to control when pushing it to the limit. The system uses an electronic multi-plate clutch to provide variable front and rear driving force through Torsen Limited Slip Differentials, much like in the GR Yaris. In the Corolla however, the systems 4WD mode, which controls power distribution, and its Drive mode, which controls accelerator response and steering amongst other parameters, has been separated to enable selection according to driver preference and driving enjoyment. 18-inch ventilated discs with opposing four-pot calipers ensure adequate stopping performance.


The use of pillow-ball bushings and optimisation of the springs, shock absorbers and wheel alignment combine to aid the GR Yaris in optimally distributing its power to the road and results in overwhelming cornering performance.


Form follows function

The GR Yaris is based on the Corolla Sport but features a 60mm and 80mm wider track at the front and rear respectively to ensure a high level of cornering performance. This wheelbase is accommodated thanks to 20 and 30mm wider fenders.


A front-bumper air intake and front-fender and hood-bulge air outlets are a result of honing the vehicle’s cooling and aerodynamic performance on all kinds of roads. Triple exhausts of a muffler created to further increase the output of the 1.6-litre emphasise the unique, powerful and sporty rear.


Despite these performance credentials the GR Corolla retains its five door, five-passenger layout that offers exceptional practicality and usability in daily life.


Stepping inside

Inside, a short-stroke shift lever enables quick gear changes while a hand-operated parking brake will allow better vehicle control when pushing the vehicle to its limits.


A full TFT instrument cluster was developed exclusively for GR models by professional drivers and inspired by the world of motorsport.


Local introduction

Following the enthusiastic market response to the GR Yaris, Toyota South Africa is currently considering the GR Corolla for local introduction.


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