Take one Corolla hatchback and give it the GAZOO Racing treatment and you’ll find the most powerful compact built by Toyota yet. That’s exactly what Toyota did when they created the 2023 GR Corolla, a potent compact model based on its most popular nameplate of all time. The hotted-up Corolla is new this year and delivers one of the best packages we’ve seen in this range.
Toyota offers the 2023 GR Corolla in three grades. The Core ($35,900), Circuit Edition ($42,900), and the Morizo Edition ($49,900). Add $1,095 for the destination charge.
The GR Corolla is based on the nameplate’s hatchback design. It features a turbocharged three-cylinder engine paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox. All-wheel drive is standard.
What’s New for 2023?
This is the first year for the GR Corolla. The new model follows the GR Supra and GR 86 to the market. GAZOO Racing is Toyota’s performance arm.
Highlights of the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla
The all-wheel-drive GR Corolla delivers an exceptional driving experience thanks to many modifications accomplished at the factory. We’ll examine four points about this model that are certain to grab the attention of enthusiasts.
12-Valve, Three-Cylinder Engine
The GR Corolla comes with a 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that develops 300 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque (295 lb.-ft. with the Morizo). This 12-valve DOHC engine comes with a single-scroll-bearing turbo and works exclusively with a 6-speed manual transmission with rev-matching. Toyota placed the turbo inside the exhaust manifold. Combustion benefits from direct and port fuel injection that operates at a high pressure to maximize fuel dispersal. Look for a 0-60 mph time of about five seconds. The all-wheel-drive system sends up to 70 percent of torque rearward. This model makes an EPA-estimated 21/28/24 mpg city/highway/combined.
Novel Exhaust System
Toyota took the same engine powering the GR Yaris and modified it for the GR Corolla. The GR Yaris, incidentally is not sold in the U.S. As for the modified engine, this one benefits from a unique three-pipe exhaust system and makes its cacophony without aid of engine noise. The center pipe stays open at speeds up to 20 mph, closes, and reopens when RPMs hit 4,500 to reduce exhaust acceleration for optimum acceleration.
The GR Corolla is no ordinary compact hatchback. Firstly, Toyota reinforced the frame to withstand the punishment it is certain to take. Secondly, the exterior design features a wide stance and an “attack-ready” style Toyota attributes to functional matrix grille. Other features of note include functional air ducts flanking both sides of the car, integrated LED fog lamps, and wide front and rear fender-flares. The Circuit and Morizo editions have a bulge hood with functional air ducts and a forged carbon fiber roof. Functional air vents bring up the rear. The Core grade has an aluminum hood with a color-keyed roof and corresponding shark fin antenna, gloss black power outside mirrors with turn signal indicators and gloss black window molding. Furthermore, side, front, and rear GR Corolla badges are standard.
The GR Corolla is a five-seater except in the Morizo where it jettisons the rear seat. The standard seats are GR-logoed fabric sport seats. Move up to the limited-edition Circuit (available in 2023 only) and this one comes with suede and imitation leather-trimmed sport seats with red accents. Move up to the Morizo edition and this trim builds on the Circuit’s seats by adding red mesh inserts. The driver’s seat is 6-way adjustable; the passenger seat is 4-way adjustable. Heated front seats and a heated steering wheel are standard on all but the Core edition. These features, though, are available in a Cold Weather package option with the Core.
Did You Know?
Morizo is the name of a driver who races for the Gazoo Racing Team. He is also known as Akio Toyoda, the president of Toyota.
The GR Corolla is a limited-edition model with 8,600 copies planned for its first model year. The U.S. will see the bulk of these examples, 6,600 to be exact. Placing your order sooner rather than later is essential if you’re to procure one.
2023 Toyota GR Corolla Specifications
|2023 GR Corolla
|$35,900 to $49,900
|300 hp @ 6,500 rpm
|273/295 lb.-ft. @ 3,000/3,200 to 5,500/4,600 rpm
|Curb Weight (pounds)
|3,252 to 3,262
|Shoulder room (f,r…inches)
|Hip room (f,r…inches)
|Gross vehicle weight (pounds)
|Fuel Tank (gallons)
|EPA Fuel MPG (city/highway/combined)
|Motomachi, Aichi JAPAN
Specifications supplied by the manufacturer. Compiled by Tom Keegan.
Collie, S. (2022, April 11). 2023 Toyota GR Corolla production numbers confirmed. CarExpert.
Tucker, S. (2022, April 20). Toyota GR Corolla Will be Hard to Find. Kelley Blue Book.
See Also — Driven: Toyota Corolla Sedan With a Stick
Photos copyright Toyota Motor Sales North America, N.A.