2023 Toyota GR Corolla Revealed: For The Enthusiast, By The Enthusiast

Toyota has finally revealed the 2023 GR Corolla after making us all drool over the hottest of hot hatches, the GR Yaris. Toyota has made it clear that the GR Yaris won’t see the light of day in America, but the automaker said the GR Corolla has more gravitas to appease die-hard enthusiasts.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla: Setting The Stage

The newest GR Corolla utilizes a modified version of the standard Corolla Hatchback’s GA-C platform. It’s the latest fun car from Toyota after debuting the new Supra and the sprightly GR86 sports car. The GR Corolla is possibly the sportiest four-door family car Toyota has ever made.

The Toyota badge typically brings reliability and economical motoring to the table. Still, the brand had a change of heart in 2017 when company CEO Akio Toyoda pledged to build more exciting cars without giving up on Toyota’s reputation for delivering rock-solid durability. Moreover, the GR Corolla is not merely a tweaked Corolla Hatchback like the Apex Edition. It has inherited some proven ingredients derived from the almighty GR Yaris to ensure it lives up to the Gazoo Racing ideology.

Turbocharged Three-Cylinder Engine

Under the hood of the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla is the same diminutive powerhouse that made the GR Yaris such a scorcher: The turbocharged G16E-GTS engine. It’s a blown 1.6-liter three-cylinder mill pumping out 300 horsepower and 273 lb-ft. of torque, about 32 more horsepower, and seven more lb-ft. of torque than the GR Yaris. The uptick is a welcome sight since the GR Corolla is 430 lbs. heavier than the former.

Toyota said the updated motor offers snappier acceleration out of corners with peak torque arriving at 3,000 to 5,500 rpm. Meanwhile, maximum horses come at 6,500 rpm. The engine breathes via a single-scroll ball-bearing turbocharger and a unique stainless steel triple exhaust system to maximize the power delivery.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla
2023 Toyota GR Corolla. Photo: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Standard AWD & Manual Gearbox

You can think of the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla as a fire-breathing, rally-bred machine in the same mold as the iconic Subaru Impreza STIs and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions of the day. The three-cylinder motor sends grunt to all four wheels via Toyota’s rally-proven GR-Four all-wheel drivetrain. It’s a system that gives driver’s a choice between a 60-40, 50-30, or 30-70 front-rear power distribution, all combined with an exclusive six-speed manual gearbox boasting clever rev-matching features and open front/rear differentials. No, you can’t have an automatic in the new GR Corolla.

The GR Corolla comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber. Furthermore, it has 14-inch four-piston front and 11.7-inch two-piston rear brakes for maximum stopping power. The optional Performance Package adds Torsen limited-slip differentials in the front and rear, a system that optimizes torque distribution laterally to deliver relentless grip, according to Toyota.

Hardcore Underpinnings

You’re not mistaken if you thought the GR Corolla looked broader and more planted than a regular Corolla Hatchback. It has a standard widebody kit that extends the car 2.6 inches more than stock. A stiffer GA-C platform is underneath that sporting body with more structural adhesives and weld points. The standard front MacPherson and rear double-wishbone suspension receive updated GR coil springs, dampers, and stabilizer bars.

Toyota GR Corolla Core & Circuit Edition

The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla comes in two trim grades: Core and Circuit Edition. The GR Corolla Core is available in white, black, and red paint and is arriving later this year with a color-keyed roof, a rear lip spoiler, wide fender flares, and GR-stamped side rockers. Other features include fabric sports seats with GR logos as standard.

On the other hand, the GR Corolla Circuit Edition will arrive in 2023 as a limited-run model, giving you a full year to decide whether the GR Corolla is a better buy than the red-hot VW Golf R.

The Circuit Edition adds the Torsen differentials, a lighter forged carbon-fiber roof, a sleek front hood with air vents, and a larger rear spoiler. Inside, it has Brin Naub suede sports seats with red accents and a shift knob signed by Akio Toyoda. Paint options are white, red, or heavy metal gray.

A 12.3-inch digital instrument display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and a mechanical parking brake are standard on both Core and Circuit Edition.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla: Pricing & Availability

Pricing for the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla remains forthcoming, but we reckon the base prices to linger above $35,000. Buyers receive a complimentary one-year membership to the National Auto Sport Association with expert instruction. A cold weather package is also optional, which includes heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.

Our free and easy search tools* will narrow down which dealers in your area offer the best pricing on a new Toyota Corolla. Those search tools will also help you obtain the invoice price, which is one of the best starting points for negotiating the lowest out-the-door price.  

Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.

Photos & Source: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

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