By Otsile Kadiege
Most of us asked for it and now it’s officially unveiled. After a lengthy online teaser campaign, Toyota has added yet another full-blown Gazoo Racing model in the form of the Corolla hatchback to its growing catalogue of high-performance, motorsport-inspired vehicles. Like other GR models, the new GR Corolla hatchback boasts a rally racing-inspired exterior design with a matching interior, a powerful turbo-charged engine, an AWD system, optional LSD and a 6-speed manual to name a few.
Straight off the bat, let’s see what’s underneath the bonnet of the GR Corolla. Powering the latest addition to the GR family is a familiar G16E-GTS turbo-charged, direct/port injected three-cylinder engine making 224 kW and 370 Nm. It’s paired to 6-speed intelligent manual transmission (iMT) with rev-matching engineered to accommodate high torque levels.
Power is fed to the automaker’s sophisticated GR-Four AWD system which gives drivers a choice of 60-40, 50-50 or 30-70 power distribution to the front and rear wheels. Customers who opt for the GR Corolla Circuit Edition will benefit from a front and rear Torsen Limited-Slip Differentials (LSD).
The potent hatchback will be built on Toyota’s GA-C platform, with enhanced frame reinforcements developed specifically for GR Corolla at GR Factory at Toyota Motomachi plant.
One thing we like about GR models is their wide stance and broad design as well as various other styling features giving it that boy racer look. Such is the case with the new GR Corolla hatchback which also benefits from the above thanks to its black GR badged functional matrix grill that’s flanked by functional air ducts on both sides, the front grille on the Circuit Grade comes in gloss-black and features integrated LED fog lamps. Auto on/off LED headlamps and LED DRLs are standard on both grades (more on that later).
The Circuit Edition features a bulge hood with functional gloss-black air ducts. The carbon fiber roof on the Circuit Edition is matched with a matte-black roof mounted shark fin antenna. The Core Grade features an aluminum hood with a color-keyed roof and matching shark-fin antenna.
Both grades come standard with gloss-black 15-spoke cast 18-inch (235/40R18) alloy wheels wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres. At the rear, both grades feature a lower bumper cover with functional air vents, for an extra touch these vents are gloss-black on the Circuit Edition. The tapering of the roof and rear pillars are complimented by a high mounted matte-black rear spoiler on the Circuit and a gloss-black rear-lip spoiler on the Core Grade.
The GR Corolla hatchback’s unique triple exhaust might get tongues wagging however, according to Toyota this layout is designed to reduce backpressure for maximum power delivery.
As mentioned above, the interior of GR Corolla matches that of its exterior design. It features Brin Naub suede and synthetic leather-trimmed sport seats with red stitching, red mesh inserts and GR badged headrests; 6-way adjustable driver’s seat; 4-way adjustable front passenger seat are standard on the Circuit Edition. It’s also fitted with a three-spoke multifunction GR leather-trimmed steering wheel and equipped with a 12.3-inch TFT digital instrument cluster with GR specific graphics as well as an 8-inch touchscreen featuring Toyota’s Audio Multimedia infotainment system with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The Circuit Edition comes with Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation with eight JBL® speakers with amplifier.
All GR Corolla grades come standard with Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 (TSS 3.0), which includes enhancements made possible by system sensors with improved detection capability. This suite includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Lane Tracing Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) to name a few.
Toyota South Africa is yet confirm local availability.
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