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2023 Toyota GR Corolla First Drive Review: 300 hp, 3 cylinders, 3 tailpipes

ERDA, Utah – The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla It draws out 300 horsepower with 3 cylinders. Even someone who got C+ in Algebra II can say that per cylinder he means 100 hp. car to share It’s named after Grandma’s golden grocery getter. As you can see, the other members of the 100:1 horsepower vs. cylinder club have dodge challenger superstock (née Damon), Porsche 911 Turbo S and the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport. If bloated fenders and rear he’s not enough to take a spin in this tiny hatchback with three pipes, your enthusiasm for cars probably isn’t for you.

Pop the door open for that spin and you’ll definitely find a Corolla interior at first glance. That’s not such a bad thing these days, but once you get in, a bigger seat greets your butt and eyes are on his 12.3-inch with displays and graphics created specifically for the GR Corolla focus on the digital instrument panel of Our bespoke efforts don’t stop there. The cars themselves are so different that they are produced in their own separate GR factory. Japan completed automatically robot It moves each car from station to station instead of the usual belt conveyor.

Why do we need such specificity? Well, the GR is much more powerful than the regular Corolla hatchback. It has 349 spot welds and 9 feet of additional structural adhesive to increase joint stiffness between components (such as adding knee cartilage). The hardcore Morizo ​​Edition adds 20 feet of glue and extra structural braces. This includes two places where the rear seats are usually found.In other words, this is just different break Or the installation of a larger engine, such as occurs on a typical assembly line where different versions of the same model are made.

Looking down at the center console reveals further differences. It has a loud, squealing emergency brake that’s perfect for handbrake turns and parking like the Ace Ventura. A 6-speed manual transmission is a must, and in 2023 he’s getting a GR is the only way he can row a Corolla himself. Oh, then best is to get a GR. Like ’23 and earlier manual equipment corolla hatchback, the GR gets the iMT auto-rev-match downshift feature standard. Braking into a corner and squeezing the clutch, the car automatically blips the throttle in anticipation of the downshift. Well done. Purists will also appreciate that it’s off by default. Expecting an automatic rev match but not getting one doesn’t mean “I forgot to pack my parachute”, but it’s not very good.

At the same time, those same purists may lament that the pedals are too far apart (bottom left photo). Rather than a simple side-to-side roll that allows the ball of your foot to make contact with the brake and accelerator at the same time, you need to do a full, ankle-twisting, literal heel-to-toe downshift. No, thanks.of GR86 When GR Supra (bottom right) Nothing like this, but it’s not actually made by Toyota. The GR Corolla has a pedal interval tundra as a result. It’s not an exaggeration. The gearbox itself feels more like a Corolla than a GR.The throw is a little long and the slot-in to gear isn’t decisive enough. It might feel more mechanical…or GR86.

There is good news behind the shifter. Big old knobs let you twist the all-wheel-drive system into different front-to-rear power distributions and arguably represent the GR Corolla’s coolest and most distinctive feature. Developed in collaboration with the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team, WRC The GR-Four’s all-wheel drive is therefore more than just an off-the-rack system. RAV4 And absolutely drives like it. You can feel the difference with each turn of the dial (or hit the track button) and understand how they are evaluated in different driving scenarios and surfaces.

The default is 60:40 “Front”. We sampled it briefly and didn’t find anything we didn’t like, but since we were just driving the truck, we moved on. Next up is the ‘rear’, capable of sending over 70% of his available power and torque to the rear. Once you’ve shut out all the nannies, nailed them properly, and find yourself on some kind of slippery surface, the GR Corolla can embark on a tail-out hijink. May it dance in your head. But not in 0:100 drift mode. that It’s more lively on good pavement. Driving on real roads might add to the fun of driving, but this time it was confined to the Utah Motorsports campus, so the slightly looser ‘rear’ mode seemed like a good way to slow down. I was.

Thankfully, track mode exists and works as promised. Torque balance is actually adjusted in all modes based on driver input, vehicle behavior and road conditions, but this is as close to 50:50 as possible. In this mode, the GR Corolla was particularly controllable, keeping the line more precise and resulting in faster speeds. There are also front and rear Torsen limited-slip diffs (standard on Circuit His trim, optional on Core trim on Morizo ​​Edition) that contribute to the ability to steer with the throttle and maintain power through corners. There is no mistake.

To that end, the GR Corolla is also equipped with track-tuned coil springs, shocks and stabilizers to further enhance structural rigidity. The Morisot Edition has stiffer spring rates, and some intentionally overtaken to make sure that the hardcore GR Corolla (Hard Corolla?) can be a bit jarring on real roads. It was clearly noticeable on the bump. On the track, however, the Morisot Edition is undoubtedly a superior car. Everything felt tighter because I was consistently fast at various points on the track. And for good reason.

Along with tauter springs, added stiffeners and 20 feet of extra glue, the Morizo ​​Edition has a 100-pound diet. Rear seats, rear wipers, rear speakers and rear window motors are chucked.Cast alloy wheels fitted with Michelin pilot The Sport 4 is replaced with lighter forged wheels wrapped in stickier Pilot Sport Cup 2s. The core model’s steel roof has been replaced with a very cool forging. carbon fiber Roof (as opposed to the typical woven carbon fiber you see). The brakes are painted red, but otherwise unchanged. Fixed caliper, 4-piston 14″ ventilated and slotted rotor in front, fixed caliper, 2-piston 11.7″ ventilated rotor in back.

Named after Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda’s racing pen name/nickname/alternate personality, the Morizo ​​Edition features functional brake ducts, a bulge hood with more functional ducts, red interior detailing, and a cross of core trim. It also has a synthetic suede/leather upholstery instead. The GR Corolla Circuit trim level effectively gets all of that plus a carbon he roof without additional weight savings, stiffening or suspension tweaks. It’s basically a happy medium, but unfortunately it will only be sold in 2023.

There is one more thing that distinguishes the Morizo ​​Edition from the other two GR Corolla trims. “G16E-GTS” 1.6 liter inline 3 tuned by Toyota Gazoo Racing engineers. A single-scroll turbo pumps his 25.2 PSI equivalent of air into the core and circuit, producing a magical 300 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque from 3,000-5,500 rpm. The Morizo ​​pumps it up to 26.3 PSI, delivering a peak 295 lb-ft between 3,250 and 4,600 rpm. This is noticeable on the track as the Morizo ​​feels a little more enthusiastic about reacting to throttle input (although the actual throttle feel and response could be better on all GR Corollas there is). Then you benefit from the 3-pipe exhaust. The center pipe opens at idle and up to 20 miles per hour, then reopens once the engine RPM is above his 4,500. This is a big reason why a small triple can produce so much power. Toyota was careful not to let artificial engine noise flow into the cabin, but I wore a helmet the whole time, so I don’t know what it would sound like at full throttle.

How do you feel though? Certainly the 0-60 time around 5 seconds seems to be accurate. Acceleration won’t blow him by 2022 standards. Despite its 100:1 ratio and all-wheel drive grip, the GR Corolla isn’t the star of the drag strip. It looks like a well-rounded athlete thanks to the GR-Four’s excellent all-wheel drive system. All of the major controls could be a little sharper, though. The clutch engagement is absurdly high, the throttle is a little mushy, and the gearbox is fine. A little Mazda-style finesse sets this car on a pedestal.

That said, the Toyota GR Corolla is promising and seems like a dizzying amount of welcome to the world. However, I’ve never actually driven it on public roads, so “looks” are important. Want to drive every day? For now, the only answer is “Maybe?” Pricing starts at $36,995 for the Core with his required performance pack for an additional $1,180. The GR Corolla Circuit costs an additional $7,000 and is only available for one year, so if you plan to stick with the GR Corolla for a while, we recommend taking the course. The Morizo ​​Edition is $7,000 more, at over $50,000. This is starting to go a little crazy for something with stiff suspension without a rear you want to drive every day that? Oh, maybe not.

All these prices may sound steep, but Golf R Starting at $45,000+, next-gen front-drive only Civic Type R It will almost certainly be closer to $40,000. They’re bigger and probably more sophisticated…and you know what? Let’s stop talking about dollars, think about them for a second, and be grateful they all exist. Cars like the Toyota GR Corolla are the reason many of us became car enthusiasts in the first place. Was it a problem that we really didn’t have room (fill in the blank)? So, if you’re a kid reading this and want to buy a slightly used GR Corolla in 5-10 years, save your money. I think you will like it.

Related video: 2023 Toyota GR Corolla First Drive Review: 300 hp, 3 cylinders, 3 tailpipes

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