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Toyota GR Corolla release date: next Gazoo hot hatch set to launch in late 2022


The GR dynasty will continue with the new GR Corolla five-door, slated for release late next year

Like BMW M Division, Hyundai N and Mercedes-AMG, sports nameplates can spread from small hatchbacks right through to large SUVs within a brand. 

Toyota’s Gazoo Racing performance division will go the same way, expanding from the current GR Yaris three-door hot hatch, GR Supra halo coupe and GR 86 two-door to a new GR Corolla five-door hatchback.

The Corolla is set to become the next part of the full-fat GR range by the end of 2022 with an Australian release likely to be locked in for the first half of 2023.

Toyota GR Yaris Rallye 2021-5
The GR Corolla will share the same engine as the GR Yaris.

The hotted-up Corolla is yet to be revealed but more is expected on this front within months.

GR Corolla engine and driveline 

The Corolla is expected to use the same 1.6-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine as the Yaris, however its figures of 200kW/370Nm might be increased for the slightly larger car. 

Toyota says this engine is the lightest and most powerful three-cylinder production engine in the world. 

GR Corolla V2
What the new GR Corolla could look like in the future.

All-wheel drive is also expected, along with a six-speed manual transmission. That should make one great driver’s package and will make it the fastest Corolla ever produced. 

Styling and design 

Our Chasing Cars artists have mocked up what we think the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla will look like.

Unlike the GR Yaris, which is longer and wider than the standard car, the GR Corolla will likely retain its original stance. Parts such as the roof, bodyside, bonnet and hatch will all be carried over to the new GR model. 

It wouldn’t be a GR model without more aggressive styling such as a deeper spoiler, front splitters, GR badging and big bore exhaust tips at the rear. 

Toyota Corolla GR Sport 2021 front
Proportions will be similar to the standard Corolla but it will be much more muscular.

Visually, think of what a Hyundai I30 N looks like over a standard I30, or even a BMW M2 from a regular 2 series. 

The Corolla will be a muscled up version of its regular offering, making sure you can pick it apart from other cars in traffic. 

Wheels, brakes and AWD

Big brakes are expected to help slow the potent GR Corolla from high speeds. Discs around 356mm at the front and 297mm rotors at the rear are likely, as those are the stoppers fitted to the GR Yaris. 

Larger 19 or 20-inch wheels are possible, too, to give the car some real presence in the flesh. 

The all-wheel drive system – shared with the GR Yaris – is expected to feature three modes which can shuffle torque between the front and rear axles. 

The three modes are Normal (60 percent to the rear), Track (70 percent rear) and Sport (50:50 split). 

How much will the GR Corolla cost?

Given that the new Volkswagen Golf R (a clear competitor for the new GR Corolla) will cost around $65-70k in Australia when it launches, the GR Corolla will likely try to stay well below the $70,000 figure. 

Ford Focus ST 2022
The Focus ST is certainly a rival, but will likely be much cheaper than the Corolla.

Cars like the Ford Focus ST and Hyundai I30N both don’t get an all-wheel drive drivetrain – which adds significant cost, but they do have similar power outputs. The I30 N packs 206kW/392Nm while the Focus ST is powered by 206kW/420Nm. 

It is unlikely that the GR Corolla will be at the same price point as these hot hatch rivals, with the i30 N and Focus ST both starting around $44,000 before on-road costs for manual versions.

Hyundai i30 N 2021 Premium w/sunroof front 3/4 static
i30 N is a hoot but might not be as quick as the new GR Corolla.

The Golf GTI is much more expensive, at around $54,000 before on roads. 

Of course, this is all speculative but if Toyota could bring the Corolla in at a price that undercut its key rivals – somewhere between the Golf GTi and Golf R – it would be doing very well indeed.

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