By on April 1, 2022

We reported on the leak of the Toyota GR Corolla yesterday, and as expected, the specs we reported on matched up.

The 1.6-liter three-cylinder does indeed make 300 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque and the all-wheel-drive system is, indeed, customizable.

Further details include a wide range for peak torque — from 3,000 to 5,500 RPM. Max horsepower hits at 6,500 RPM. Toyota says the car has a triple exhaust, but it’s unclear to us if that’s a true triple exhaust or not. UPDATE: Toyota says it is.

The six-speed stick with rev-matching that we’ve mentioned before will be the ONLY transmission available. No auto for you!

GR Corolla will be built at Toyota’s Motomachi plant, and it will be on the GA-C platform.

There will be two trims available: Core and Circuit Edition, which is first-year only. Core will be available later this year in three colors: White, black, or red. The roof will be color-keyed, but the rear lip spoiler will be black. The seats get a GR logo.

Circuit Edition cars will come in red, white, or gray, add a carbon-fiber roof, vented hood with bulge, rear spoiler, suede sport seats with red accents, and an autographed shift knob.

Both cars come with a new touchscreen infotainment system.

Other available features, as reported yesterday, will include Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires (235 mm width), front and rear Torsen limited-slip differentials, three drive modes (normal, sport, and track), functional exterior vents for aerodynamics and cooling, a gauge cluster that differentiates itself from the “normal” Corolla, LED headlights and DRLs, gloss-black grille with integrated LED fog lamps, and matte black 18-inch wheels.

Available interior features include a pull-type parking brake lever (praise be to the heavens), automatic climate control, heated seats, heated steering wheel, navigation, wireless cell-phone charging, an auxiliary port, and two USB ports.

Toyota’s Safety Sense 3.0 suite of advanced driver-assistance systems is standard, and it includes pre-collision with pedestrian detection, lane-departure alert with steering assist, and dynamic radar cruise control. Other driving-aid systems include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and hill-start assist.

Toyota claims that an increase in frame weld points leads to more structural rigidity. The front suspension is a MacPherson-type strut, while the rear is a double-wishbone multilink setup.

The brakes have four-piston calipers in front and two-piston calipers at the rear, and Circuit cars get red-painted calipers.

Toyota has taken steps to reduce weight. Not only in terms of the available carbon-fiber roof — the door panels are aluminum, as is the hood.

Color us intrigued — Toyota has made a strong effort in recent times to bolster its performance offerings. We don’t know pricing yet, but if Toyota prices this car right, then Volkswagen and Hyundai are on notice. So, too, are the purveyors of hot compact sport sedans.

It’s a fun time for fans of hopped-up small cars. Now, if Mazda could just bring back the Mazdaspeed 3.

[Images: Toyota]

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45 Comments on “Here is the Toyota GR Corolla, Officially...”


  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    The six-speed stick with rev-matching that we’ve mentioned before will be the ONLY transmission available. No auto for you!

    This eliminates over 90% of the young drivers. They don’t know and don’t want to know how to drive manual transmission.

    For me, too much wear and tear on my body to tolerate a manual for any length of time.

    • 0 avatar
      AK

      “This eliminates over 90% of the young drivers”

      This is nonsense in so many ways. I’d say the price excludes young drivers more than than the transmission.

      Regardless, this isn’t a car for everybody. What a concept.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        Young (or old for that matter) people who can’t drive a manual already weren’t interested in a vehicle like this.

        But don’t let that get in the way of another tired “get off my lawn” boomer rant.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “Young (or old for that matter) people who can’t drive a manual already weren’t interested in a vehicle like this.”

          Why is that?

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            Mostly based on the competition.

            Focus ST/RS – manual only

            Civic Type R – manual only

            STI – manual only

            The Golf R has an auto but seems aimed at a somewhat different market. VW does sell a lot of manuals.

            I also make a distinction between “don’t know manual and won’t learn” vs “prefers automatic”. I think the latter is a valid preference and might describe some buyers, I think the former is an excuse to rant about young people and isn’t true of most enthusiasts interested in a performance car, especially a relatively attainable one.

            Automatics have been common for decades now, there are plenty of people my parents’ age who never learned manual. It’s a lazy complaint.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      “This eliminates over 90% of the young drivers. They don’t know and don’t want to know how to drive manual transmission.”

      I’m old enough to know perfectly well how to drive a stick, but now that I’ve experienced the absolute joy that is VW’s DSG in my GTI I don’t care. There’s zero reason to limit this to a stick. There’s zero reason NOT to put in a Toyota-level dual clutch automatic.

      My GTI is just over 4 years old right now. This Corolla was in my sights. Eh. Not anymore. Back to sourcing an S3.

      DSG or GTFO.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “There’s zero reason NOT to put in a Toyota-level dual clutch automatic.”

        Volume?

        They might put the Aisin 8A in it eventually (that’s what BMW/Mini uses on their high-output FWD-based vehicles) but if you are a dual-clutch fan you should definitely go with the VW Group because they do it better than anyone.

        • 0 avatar
          jalop1991

          yeah, too bad VW went the glass cockpit route to an extreme. That alone ruins the car.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          If it’s built the way the GR Yaris is at Motomachi, it’s more about managing volume. They can’t afford to build too many that way. Toyota claims they build them profitably (If you include goodwill, they no doubt do…), but its not a line that scales.

          Offering an auto version of a car with this level of hype, would completely swamp Toyota’s ability to met demand. With most of the demand then coming from the “wrong” people. While not every single slush-aficionado is necessarily not an enthusiast, statistically, keeping it a stick is a good way of keeping it real, when it comes to limited production, heavily hyped, cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick_515

        jalop, i had the 2.0t DSG combo in a 200hp iteration hatchback Audi A3. I liked the transmission a lot under hard acceleration, though not from a dead stop (hello wheel spin and bop – no quattro). Service costs were not that big a deal, nor too frequent to bother me. But sub-10mph performance did bother me. I never got used to the awkwardness. I thought if i ever buy an AUdi again, it would be tiptronic, not steptronic. Is your DSG much better than what I described?

        As to the GR, I own this sort of car right now, albeit in a seriously weird iteration. I picked up a five-speed Chevy HHR SS a few months back (it’s my daddy/dog car). It makes 290hp from a two liter four with a factory upgraded turbo, has limited slip up front, no-lift-shift, etc. High miles, but well looked after. I am quite taken with the driving experience. So fast, yet economical. Surefooted. And the trick differential actually works well in our upstate NY climate – went skiing with it rather than the AWD bimmer a bunch of times, and it handled snowy roads quite well. Anyhow, very happy for the GR Corolla.

        • 0 avatar
          jalop1991

          “Is your DSG much better than what I described?”

          In my FWD GTI? No. But I’ve learned to live with it/get around it.

          But I do recognize the value of AWD on that platform.

          • 0 avatar
            statikboy

            The value of an automatic transmission is that you never have to go to the trouble of picking a gear.

            The value of a manual transmission is that you are always in the gear you want to be in.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            “The value of a manual transmission is that you are always in the gear you want to be in.”

            Come back after getting _very_ sideways running out of revs exiting a wet corner in one of these high-strung three bangers; with their crazy-pointy front end and transfer case and diffs tight enough to almost feel like spools when things get slippery……

            Morizo is, by any normal-human standards, a very experienced rally car handler. His idea of the ideal enthusiast car, is very much not one which focuses on being forgiving about being in the wrong gear, being less than superquick and smooth about getting into the right gear, nor about being squeamish about taking your corners rally style…..

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        @jalop:
        I think the “manual or not” question really depends on the car. My GLI’s a mechanical clone of your GTI, and like you, I opted for the DSG, mainly because the car’s quicker so equipped.

        But there’s a part two here – the manual in the GTI/GLI ain’t all that. The clutch travel and shift throw are too long for my tastes. As a result, the manual I tried out felt clumsier in hard driving. Now, if the manual had been as good as the one in the Civic Si, I’d probably have gone that route, even though the car is a tad slower with the stick (plus, saving a grand is always nice).

        I suppose we’ll have to see how the shifter is in this new Corolla.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    This seems like an April fools prank by Toyota NA.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      smells that way.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Agree. Prank or not does a market for this exist? Years ago sure but today? Anyone old enough to drive stick doesn’t want this thing.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        JM, I think you’re right. I’m old and love driving stick. Of all of my kid’s friends, only 1 of about 20 has at most a passing interest, and that’s because this kid’s older brother has one.

        There will be no sticks needed for electric cars, but for the few ICE cars, can’t imagine there will be any demand within 20 years.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Toyota has order books until somewhere around when Akio retires, for the Yaris…

        They may not be the most pragmatic choice of transportation. Not even, in fact especially not, as fast transportation (at least anywhere outside perhaps Finland…) But at the same time, more than any other car for sale, they are proof “they don’t make’em like this anymore.” As enthusiast fodder, they are as special as cars get. While still doing a very good job actually providing practical transportation….

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    GTI is $30k. Veloster N is $32.5k. Regular Corolla hatch is $21k. Golf R is $44k(!).

    I’m guessing Toyota will want $35k, and their dealers will add $5k ADM.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      There’s a lot of kit on this thing compared to a GTI or Veloster N. I’m thinking a “Core” with performance package will be $38k-$40k.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Concur with ajla. There’s no way a version of this with all the performance goodies is going out the door for much under $40k.

        High cost to build and low price expectations for smaller cars in the US market are most of the reason we often don’t get cars in this sort of class.

        • 0 avatar

          Don’t forget certification costs. US requires every iteration of engine/trans to be certified in every body style, whereas euros require the engine/transaxle alone. That means the wagon goes…the manual goes…all the low volume outliers…a sport version…etc.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        It’s also AWD, where the GTI/Veloster N are FWD. I’m thinking ajla’s estimate sounds pretty close.

    • 0 avatar
      SPPPP

      Well, the Toyota 86 on its own RWD platform starts at $27k. This is on a shared FWD-based platform and has a 3-cylinder. So despite the addition of AWD, it starts from a lower cost basis in some ways. I think this “ought to” start about $29k. And I doubt that demand will drive up price much. So I would expect to be able to get this without going beyond the low 30s.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        The Golf R starts at $44K, the ’21 STI started at $38k and the ’21 Civic Type R started at $39K.

        I’d prefer you to be right and you *might* get a $34K MSRP on a no-option car without destination but I highly expect $38K-$40K on a Performance Package Core model.

        • 0 avatar
          thegamper

          I was also hoping for a GTI price match, but think you are right that this will be closer to Golf R territory than GTI after reading about it. It is definitely competing in the higher end of the hot hatch market. I am pretty impressed Toyota came out with this car. I would like to see it without a rear wing or something that doesn’t scream “piloted by teenager”.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    Too bad this comes along during the plandemic shortages. Without ADM’s this would be compelling. Should make an awesome daily driver / stress reliever / hoon mobile at a reasonable price.

    • 0 avatar
      SoCalMikester

      if after 2 years and millions of worldwide deaths reported by all papers around the worldyou still think covid is “fake” or “planned” you are one of the stupidest people anyone will ever come across.

      please tell us all what else you believe, because im sure its also batshit crazy

      • 0 avatar
        Yankee

        @SoCalMikester:

        It’s pointless to argue with people like this. They will use the anonymity of the Internet to parrot exactly what Faux News tells them to believe. They will never consult multiple sources, much less begin to understand the scientific basis for any of them. I long ago stopped trying to antagonize them, because it leads nowhere. You can point out to a Tumpanzie that their beloved leader got Covid, had access to advanced treatment they won’t, and then promptly got his vaccines (which he himself to his credit led the charge for) as soon as they were available, and they will just look at you with a blank stare. Thankfully, people who believe in conspiracy theories are generally not in any positions of power and their views will only isolate them further. It’s best to just ignore them and let them rant. The fact that they have not personally known anyone who has died from Covid-19 like you and I undoubtedly have is testament to the fact of their extremely limited circle of friends. Peace.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Hard to know without driving one but this sounds like the most characterful engine we’ll get in this half of the decade. I don’t think I’d want to own one of these, but I haven’t seen a car I want to drive so much in years.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I do wonder what the suspension tuning will be like. It’ll obviously be stiff but will it be a full-on kidney-bleeder? I never drove one but many reviews complained about how stiff the recent Corolla Apex was.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        The reviews of the GR Yaris suggest that it’s in line with the class, firm but not back-breaking. I’d expect this one to be pretty similar. Probably firmer than a Golf R but softer than a Focus RS.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          The GR Yaris is firm, but the quality of the pieces, as well as how it’s tuned; improbable as that may sound; makes that short wheelbase hot hatch smoother over big bumps (speed bumps….) at speed than any S-class… (Tuning for landing jumps no doubt pays off, as it stays up, instead of nosediving on the backside of big bumps the way ALL other cars, as well as non-Baja/Raptor trucks, do….)

          Big wheels, stiff springs, hard bushings, short wheelbase and a light, stiff and largely devoid-of-deadening chassis, does make it ride a bit rough over smaller chatter. But load up the tires, and it’s remarkable how it smooths out.

          I said the same thing when the Raptor came out: It’s sad how cheap, trashy and throwaway, the suspensions OEMs get away with fitting to expensive “luxury” cars, are. At least as far as performance on roads in more American than German state of disrepair goes.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Looks like this would be a hoot to drive. Ownership might be another story, though.

    The experience of driving a car like this tends to get old over time. The WRX is a perfect example – you can (or could, prior to the market going insane) find tons of very lightly used ones out there. Why? Because old farts like me – i.e., the folks who can afford one – would fall in love with them during the test drive, only to find the boy-racer act wears thin when you’re daily driving them.

    Younger drivers wouldn’t care, but they’re going to be hard pressed to cough up $35-40,000 for one.

    Still…kudos for Toyota for bringing this here.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      +1 sums up my take as well. I just don’t see the market for this despite it likely being a blast to drive based on specs.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      “Looks like this would be a hoot to drive. Ownership might be another story, though.”

      Fsck: the GR Corolla
      Marry: a new Golf R
      Kill: anything Ford, any used German high end car

    • 0 avatar
      AK

      I genuinely mean no offense, but if a WRX is too harsh/hardcore for you to daily drive, you must be really old or have a brutal commute.

      All the stuff in that class really is just an everyday compact car with a little bit of fun thrown in. They’re super livable. I drove a Focus ST for 7 years and my wife has a Mazda 3. Aside from the transmission and an extra 70 horsepower, they were largely the same thing.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      The GR Yaris does “everyday” much better than the EVOs and STIs of old. It’s loud and thirsty (and of course tiny), but not like kidney destroying the way the EVO was. As a DD, more like a GT3, as far as comforts go.

  • avatar
    TR4

    “The 1.6-liter three-cylinder does indeed make 300 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque and the all-wheel-drive system is, indeed, customizable.

    Further details include a wide range for peak torque — from 3,000 to 5,500 RPM.”

    I get tired of those who marvel at the wide peak torque range. With 273 lb-ft from 1.6l, it is obviously a boosted engine. Most boosted engines have some type of boost limiting device. The flat spot in the torque curve is where this boost limiting is active. No magic!

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Yup. It has no power at 2800rpm. Then full power, but only at full throttle and after a bit of delay, at 3000……. Then noticeably chokes at the top.

      It’s entirely unapologetic about being an engine solely optimized for those who not only don’t mind that sort of opinionated personality, but who do indeed cherish how genuinely motorsport-like this allows Toyota to keep it, within than band.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    The GR Yaris seems like a hoot to drive if you go to YouBoob and have a squint at Germans flogging the daylights out of them around the Nurburgring. The constantly slipping clutch seems to overheat rather readily, though*. Long term tests by car emags suggest the ride is fine, but that highway noise is wearing. The cost of the thing is 34K pounds in the UK for the decent one with Torsen front and rear diffs. Wind off about 20% for Value-added taxes.

    The GR Corolla has a bit more wick and a lot more weight, likely 400 lbs more. Toyota isn’t after GTIs or worrying about Hyundai stuff — they’re competing with the Civic Type R in their minds, I’d bet. No automatic there either, and no AWD.

    You either get the schtick or you don’t. If you don’t, Toyota cares not a single damn. Climb up into your pickup truck and concern yourself with whether the towing specs suit your once a year needs! Or rave about DSG.

    * The AWD system is like early SH-AWD, but Lite. probably too light. The rear GR diff has a different gear ratio to the front one. It’s about 1% higher-geared. So if the AWD center clutch is locked up, the back wheels are trying to go faster than the fronts. They can’t. So the rear tires slip instead. That’s likely the 30/70 split of the three modes, because the rear tires will be constantly pushing, pushing. Good for the life of the center clutch though — it isn’t doing any slipping.

    The 50/50 torque split track mode means the AWD clutch is constantly slipping to compensate for the gearing. There’s the heat problem right there you see on the video track day blasts. You get to be a hero for a few laps until the clutch is automatically dialed offline to cool down, and the car reverts to being FWD.

    The 60:40 Normal mode relies on both a bit of clutch and rear tire slip to get by. No matter how you look at it, this AWD system is a bit of a cheapy, relying on the different rear gearing for handling results. I’d love to drive one just to say I did, but the chances of hooning much these days is over. I got into enough trouble witha Talon TSi AWD 30 years ago running from cops. Today, your average trundler in a crossover gets in the way, anyway. Most people would be happy with 100 hp, except when it comes to long steep hills on four laners when they want big midrange power. Their minds are out of gear.

  • avatar
    randy in rocklin

    I’m 70 yo, I have two 87 Supras, one I bot brand new and one I got 5 years ago. I also have 2 MR2’s a 91 5 speed and a 2004 SMT. I can still drive and shift and makes it all the more fun to drive. I also have a 2005 Avalon as my daily. The clutches (hydraulically operated) on Toyotas are soft and easy and the shifter snikecty snick.

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