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April 1, 2022

The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Is The World's New-Age WRX STI

A day after an inadvertent leak from Toyota USA’s own website spoiled the reveal of the Toyota GR Corolla, the world’s biggest carmaker has now unleashed more information about its latest hot hatch.

In what’s a strange twist of fate, Toyota is now finding itself filling the void left by Subaru’s decision to axe the WRX STI. With that, expect a Corolla, of all models, to fill up the wish list of Gran Turismo players and tuner fans everywhere.

In a bid to shed its boring-as-missionary image, the GR Corolla packs a wallop courtesy of a turbocharged 1.6-liter 3-cylinder engine (G16E-GTS). While that doesn’t sound as manly as the WRX STI’s 2.5-liter boxer, it does make 304 horsepower and 370 Nm of torque. As expected, the unconventional exhaust layout has something to do with the power increase (reduced back pressure and all that).

Oh, and because it’s an enthusiast’s car, those who want to play around with the GR Corolla would need to know the tried-and-tested stick shift. Quashing reports of a possible dual clutch or torque converter automatic, the GR Corolla is only available with a 6-speed manual.

Typical of a hot hatch, the GR Corolla gets a striking fattening of the fenders (20 mm at the front, 30 mm at the rear) to accommodate the 235/40R18 tires. It also hides a wider track—up 60 mm at the front and 85 mm at the back for shoehorn the GR-Four all-wheel drive system. This lightweight all-wheel drive system uses a multi-plate clutch to shuffle power between the front and rear wheels switch between 60/40, 50/50, or 30/70 power distribution. Torsen Limited Slip Differential for the front and rear is optional.

In terms of styling, it gets what you’d expect: a power bulge on the hood, front fender vents at the sides, and an extensive use of aluminum. The limited-edition Circuit Edition also adds hood vents, an exposed forged (rather than woven) carbon fiber roof, and a Morizo (Akio Toyoda’s racing alter ego) signed shift knob.

Inside, the GR Corolla gains a full TFT meter measuring 12.3 inches, a short-throw shift lever, and a pull-type mechanical handbrake. Suede and synthetic leather trimmed sport seats. Standard features include a push start/stop for the engine, lighted foot wells, and a wireless device charger. An 8-inch infotainment system is standard, while an 8-speaker JBL sound system is an option. 

All GR Corollas come with the latest Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) system which bundles pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams. Blind spot indicators with rear cross traffic alert also come as standard.

The best news, and one that could spell the possibility of seeing it here is that the GR Corolla is now a global model. It will be sold first in North America before being offered in Japan by the second half of this year. It will be assembled in Japan at the GR Factory in Motomachi, Japan alongside the GR Yaris.

2022 Toyota GR Corolla General Specifications
  • Overall Length: 4,410 mm
  • Overall Width: 1,850 mm
  • Overall Height: 1,455 mm
  • Wheelbase: 2,640 mm
  • Front / Rear Track: 1,590 mm / 1,620 mm
  • Vehicle Weight: 1,475 kg
  • Engine: 1.6-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder (G16E-GTS)
  • Bore x Stroke: 87.5 x 89.7 
  • Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
  • Maximum Output: 304 PS @ 6,500 rpm
  • Maximum Torque: 370 Nm @ 3,000 to 5,550 rpm
  • Transmission: 6-speed MT (iMT)
  • Driveline: GR-Four All-Wheel Drive
  • Front Suspension: Independent, MacPherson Strut
  • Rear Suspension: Independent, Double Wishbone
  • Front Brakes: Ventilated Disc, 4-pot Caliper
  • Rear Brakes: Ventilated Disc, 2-pot Caliper
  • Wheels: 18-inch, Gloss Black, 15-spoke, Cast Alloy
  • Tires: 235/40R18
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 50 liters


  1. So how do I tell my wife that this is practical?

    1. Five doors, five seats, big trunk. Honey, it's a Corolla.

    2. Any expected date of release in PH?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I wonder how much more power increase that tiny 1.6L that's already pushing 300hp can take. Because if it's going to replace the WRX STI, it needs to have tuning potential and lots of aftermarket support.

    1. Someone with a GR Yaris locally managed to push up the outputs so far to 350 horsepower.

  4. The Corolla coupe/sedan here in the Philippines is not bad, but hot damn come on...a proper Coralla hatchback in PH would be so much cooler.

  5. If released here, might easily come north of P3m.

  6. retail is 23k usd, where did you get your numbers?

    1. you mean you didn't know how they priced the yaris GR here?

  7. Any news of it coming here?

  8. "Any news of it coming here?" Crickets. LOL

    1. I answered this question on another thread re: GR Corolla. Unlikely that it'll arrive here at least for the first year. Only 8,000 units will be built and most of them ending up in the US (6,500). The remaining number is what the rest of the world would have to fight for.

      In the slim case that it does arrive here, it'll likely be a super limited edition model.


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