2023 Toyota GR Corolla

Want a sports car? Toyota makes some GR eaters

Toyota has quietly built the auto industry’s best sports car lineup as the third installment of the enthusiast Trident was introduced in September. The half-liter Toyota GR Corolla 2023 four-wheel drive will join the GR Supra and GR 86 at the company’s dealerships this year, joining two rear-wheel-drive coupes with four-wheel and six-cylinder engines.

The emergence of all the sport is due to Toyota CEO and semi-professional race car driver Akio Toyoda. In early 2017 he announced “No More Boring Cars” for his brand, and he delivered it.

It started with the youth-oriented Scion brand, which ran from 2003 to 2016. The brand entered into a joint venture with Subaru to create the Scion FRS and Subaru BRZ. When the Scion closed, the FRS became the Toyota GT86, playing on the name 86 from one of its old rear-wheel drive sports cars. Now selling as GR 86.

GR, for Gazoo Racing, started as a pseudo-amateur team for then-Vice President Akio Toyoda and chief test driver Hiromu Naruse created at Toyota with student test drivers and mechanics in the mid-2000s. Toyoda secretly raced under the name Morizo ​​and Naruse went on as Cap. When Toyoda took over as president in 2009, Gazoo Racing’s influence grew.

By 2015, all racing activity falls under the Toyota Gazoo Racing and Lexus Gazoo Racing banners, wearing red and black stripes on a white background.

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Toyota GR 86

Toyota’s first sports car is the GR 86, which is now in its second generation. It comes with a new four-cylinder engine, still supplied by Subaru, that delivers 228 horsepower (up from 205 in the previous model) and 184 pound-feet of torque (up from 156 more than the previous generation). The engine has also been tuned so that maximum torque arrives much earlier in the powerband than the previous generation, resulting in a more responsive driving experience.

It is offered with a six-speed manual transmission or a paddle-shift automatic transmission and has four seats, but the compact size of the rear seats makes it hard to sell to car enthusiasts with the family. However, the GR86 starts at $27,900, making it the cheapest Toyota Trident sports car.

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Toyota GR Supra

The second prong is the GR Supra. The Supra has a wide fan base, being sold from 1978 to 2002, and then returning in 2019. For this sports car, Toyota has partnered with BMW and its Z4 chassis. It used a BMW inline-six engine to generate 335 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque.

It only came with an automatic transmission at first, but after four years of updates, it now has an inline-six manual transmission like the original. Power also comes in at 382 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque. He also stiffened the suspension during the update and re-tuned the steering for more feel. I went from a slightly soft canyon carver to a day tracking car straight away.

The GR Supra has only two seats and starts at $43,450. For the six-cylinder engine, buyers will need to pay $52,500.

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Toyota GR Corolla

The newest and most offensive home-made Toyota sports car is the Toyota GR Corolla 2023. Using the motto “No boring cars”, the company has taken out everything that does not bring happiness from the body of the factory hatchback and added a large number of new parts that do.

Starting with the engine, the GR Corolla uses a 1.6-liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine with 300 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque on the base model. The GR Corolla has three rims, Core, Circuit and Morizo, the last of which is inspired by the name Toyoda used when racing. This model gets a torque bump of 295 lb-ft. The GR Corolla Core class is expected to arrive this fall. The Morizo ​​Edition is expected to be released in the winter of 2023 and the Circuit Edition is expected to be released in the spring of 2023.

All trims of the GR Corolla come with a tachometer-matched six-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive, and the front/rear on-the-fly bias can be adjusted using a disc from 60/40 front to rear up to 30/70 front to rear. Drive modes, which adjust steering, throttle response and traction control, include Eco, Sport, Track and Custom modes. Track mode makes a 50/50 bias.

The Morizo ​​version adds two brackets that extend over the rear of the cabin for structural support. It also has a stiffer suspension and wears Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 sport tires (Core and Circuit models have Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires). It also drops weight by losing the rear seat, adding forged wheels and deleting the tweeters. The Morizo ​​is about 100 pounds lighter than the Circuit version which comes in at 3,285 pounds.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla
The Toyota GR Corolla 2023 features an analog parking brake.

Inside, the 2023 GR Corolla comes with a 12.3-inch digital driver set and 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The volume knob connects to the touch screen while the climate knobs and screens below are handy while driving. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard and buyers can get Wi-Fi through AT&T.

Base models get fabric seats while upgraded models get leather inserts. Morizo ​​versions come with sport bucket seats that help keep the driver in place even during extreme acceleration force maneuvers. The back seat area is small, but it will be convenient for children and teenagers. With the seats folded down, the GR Corolla will fit four racing tires.

On the track, the GR Corolla is surprisingly well-groomed. Although the three-cylinder engine feels high pressure, the hatchback doesn’t seem to work hard to maintain speed. The grip is amazing and the brakes in all classes are confidence-inspiring, although the larger Morizo ​​versions in particular were excellent.

The steering and clutch take more effort on the Morizo ​​version as well, which results in a more aggressive feel overall. The tires are not only sturdier, but also wider, which makes high-speed corners more pleasant. The Middle Circle Edition will only be available for 2023 and adds a carbon-fiber roof, vented hood, rear spoiler, suede and faux-leather sports seats and a Morizo-signed gearshift knob.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla
Pricing for the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla starts at $35,900.

The Circuit version feels just a small step slower than the Morizo ​​with less torque, but it’s more comfortable bouncing off the curb at the edge of the track. It’s also in the middle with the Core starting at $35,900, the Circle at $42,900 and the Morizo ​​at $49,900. As fun as the Morizo ​​is, if the buyer isn’t looking for a track car, the Circuit Limited Edition is the way to go.

The base grade can be improved with a performance package including a limited-slip differential front and rear, red-refined brakes, slotted brake rotors at the front and ventilated brake rotors at the rear for $1,180.

Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 is standard across the GR Corolla line with emergency braking, lane departure alert, adaptive cruise control, lane tracking and more.

There are still many competitors in the market to compete with the Toyota GR Corolla SUV. The all-wheel drive Subaru WRX was renewed in 2021 for another generation. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers 271 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It’s larger than the Corolla with much more room for passengers. Starts at $29605.

The Volkswagen Golf R fits the bill, too. It makes 315 horsepower and 295 pound-feet for all four wheels. The Golf R starts at $44,090. If all-wheel drive isn’t a big concern, the Hyundai Veloster N ($32,500) and Civic Type R, which currently start at $37,895.

These competitors are all good options, but if the buyer is looking for a sports car, the best way for them to save time is to get to a Toyota dealership first. There are still boring cars in the yard, but none will wear the GR badge.

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