GRR

Toyota reveals 300PS GR Corolla

31st March 2022
Ethan Jupp

It’s been a long time coming and it’s payback time, ever since America was denied the fabulous GR Yaris in fact. But a four-wheel-drive, 300PS hot hatch is finally crossing the pacific. The difference? It’s a Corolla, and no, it’s not coming to the UK or Europe in general.

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Yes, we said 300PS. The Corolla gets a fairly significant bump up from 261PS (192kW) to 304PS (224kW), a jump of over ten per cent compared to the Yaris. This, in spite of the 1.6-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine having the title of most powerful three-pot in the world as it was. It’s just as well it’s more powerful too as perhaps inevitably, the Corolla is also heavier. This more family-friendly, four-door hot hatch is up to 1,473kg from the 1,280kg of the Yaris.

The Corolla wholly sits on the wider GA-C architecture, that the Yaris borrows the rear of, though tracks are still wider for the GR Corolla, broadening 60mm up front and 85mm at the rear. Everything else is very Yaris: twin Torsen diffs in the GR-Four all-wheel-drive system and a six-speed manual transmission. Curious that even for the American market, the ‘stick’ is the only transmission option.

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Styling is very GR Yaris, but bigger. The cuboidal elements up front remain, as do the broadened hips and aggressive diffuser. The bodywork itself is wider by 20mm at the front and 30mm at the rear. It’s more subtle than the Yaris but we reckon that’s no bad thing. Save for, that is, the triple – yes triple – exhaust, which Toyota says reduces back pressure to help the hopped-up motor breathe. The wheels are oddly small, spanning just 18-inches and thus, retaining quite a tidy tire sidewall on those Michelin Pilot Sport 4 shoes.

On the inside it’s the usual treatment of Alcantara and GR badging, with the addition of a full TFT driver display, as present on all GR models, to “improve visibility during sporty driving”.

So, what do you think of the GR Corolla? Have we been robbed, or are we simply wooed by ‘the new thing’, with the GR Yaris still offering the more honest homologation rally hatch experience? We love both and it’s great to see Toyota so committed to making fun cars at the moment.

  • Toyota

  • GR Corolla

  • Corolla

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