Gazoo Racing has made waves across the automotive industry over the last several years, and with Akio Toyoda now in charge, the company is looking toward a bright future in motorsports. Toyota has recently unveiled the GR Supra and GR Yaris. Now Toyota has decided to give their hand at improving the Corolla, and they’ve created an absolute monster. The all-new GR Corolla strips the turbocharged 1.6 liter 3-banger from the GR Yaris and cranks up the power to 300 hp’s, pairing it with a 6-speed manual and AWD system to create a rally icon.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
The Renndvous Team recently had the chance to get up close and personal with the GR Corolla at this year’s New York International Auto Show. During our time up-close with the GR Corolla, we found some interesting details, some good, some bad, and some just plain ugly… so let’s begin.
You can’t ignore the insane 187.5 hp per liter this engine puts down to all four wheels. Toyota has made an engineering marvel, straying away from the hybrid trend most other manufacturers have utilized with their 3-cylinder engines. Even better, the GR Corolla is only planning to be offered in a 6-speed manual.
Along with having only three cylinders under the hood, the GR Corolla features a triple exit exhaust, one for each cylinder, and no metal was wasted in this process. Each pipe comes directly from the cylinder itself, allowing for minimal backpressure and maximum power.
The GR Corolla does showcase some details that had us nervous until we dug deeper and scouted some answers. On the prototype unit staged at the New York International Auto Show, the roof of the car is wrapped to mimic forged carbon, although we were informed the production version will offer true forged carbon to help minimize weight. The prototype GR Corolla also sports an analog gauge cluster, as well as a much smaller infotainment screen than previously advertised. Speaking with a Toyota representative, we were informed the production GR Corolla will not have an analog cluster at all, instead opting to go for a fully digital dash. As for the MMI, the GR Corolla will only offer the larger central touchscreen, which we prefer. The headlights shown on the GR Corolla are just standard Corolla headlights, which will be replaced with GR-specific headlights.
While it has been true for some other features to be different on the press vehicle than the production unit as listed above, the seats will likely be manually controlled, as nothing has been said about powered seats. Although the manual seats will reduce weight, we are slightly disappointed that a car with a potential MSRP of $30,000 – 40,000 does not offer power seats.
Another detail we weren’t entirely fans of is the plastic rear wing, which feels and looks cheap, but does add aggression. Although the wing looks mighty, with it being unpainted, up close it felt like a cheap auto parts store add-on, and we wish it was either painted body color or gloss black to match with the other panels of the car.
- 1.6L 3-cylinder turbo
- 300 HP @ 6500 RPM
- 273 lb.-ft. @ 3000-5550 RPM
- 10.5:1 Compression Ratio
- Curb Weight of 3249 lb.
- 6-speed Manual Transmission
- 18-inch wheels
- Michelin Pilot Sport 4 Tires
Specs Source: Toyota