Toyota GR Corolla Specs Promise 300hp, AWD

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - April 1, 2022

When Toyota announced that it wouldn’t be selling the GR Yaris in the U.S., enthusiasts felt snubbed. What’s not to love about a small hot hatchback with all-wheel drive and rally-inspired handling? To appease enthusiasts in America, Toyota stated that it would introduce a sporty GR Corolla. It’s been two long years, but Toyota has kept its promise with the 2023 GR Corolla, which is a 300-horsepower, AWD hot hatchback with an angry mug.

Get past the snarling Bulldog design and you’ll find the same engine as the GR Yaris. The turbocharged 1.6-liter three-cylinder engine has been updated to make 300 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. To get 100 horsepower out of each cylinder, Toyota fits the GR Corolla with three exhaust outlets to reduce backpressure and fits the engine with multi-oil jet piston cooling -- among other things. A six-speed manual transmission and a rally-developed AWD system are standard.

Speaking of the GR Corolla’s AWD system, this is the first time we’ve seen a sporty AWD system from Toyota in decades. The system, which Toyota calls GR-Four, is a nod toward the automaker’s GT-Four rally cars from the 1980s. The standard setting splits power 60:40 between the front and rear wheels, a sport setting splits power 30:70, and there’s a 50:50 setting for maximum stability. Open differentials are standard, while Torsen limited-slip differentials are included with the available Performance package and standard on the Circuit Edition.

Compared to the regular Corolla hatchback, the GR Corolla is 2.4 inches wider, has a stronger frame, and features updated suspension. The Sporty hatchback also comes with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires, 15-inch alloy wheels, and 14-inch front brake rotors. The interior shares a lot of the same qualities as the regular Corolla, but you’ll find a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a mechanical parking brake, and a short-throw shifter. While the Core trim gets cloth upholstery, the Circuit Edition has synthetic leather upholstery, red details, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel.

If you’re interested in hearing about the tech features on a performance vehicle, the GR Corolla comes with an eight-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a “Hey Toyota” command, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. The hot hatch also comes with Toyota’s Safety Sense 3.0 suite of features as standard equipment.

At the moment, we’re waiting to hear about pricing for the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla. We think the GR Corolla Core trim will start at around $35,000, while the limited-edition Circuit Edition will cost closer to $40,000. For consumers that are looking to get a high-performance hatchback with a usable amount of interior space, intuitive tech features, an insanely powerful engine, and rally-inspired handling, the GR Corolla fits the bill like nothing else on the market today.

The GR Corolla won’t face a lot of competition when it goes on sale. Now that Subaru has officially confirmed that there won’t be a gas-powered WRX STI, it looks like Toyota timed the launch of the GR Corolla perfectly. Main competitors (with destination) will include the upcoming Honda Civic Type R, Volkswagen Golf R ($45,085), Hyundai Veloster N ($33,545), and Hyundai Elantra N ($32,945).

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Pictured: 2023 Toyota GR Corolla

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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