2023 Toyota GR Corolla Preview

image of a 2023 toyota gr corolla on the racetrack


Fifteen years ago, Toyota was set on developing a high-performance car that could participate in the 24-hour Nürburgring race in Germany. Despite monetary setbacks, the Gazoo Racing (GR) team managed to secure a spot in the race with Aki Toyoda (under the nickname Morizo) and another driver behind the wheels of two Toyota Altezzas. Both cars finished the daunting race, and a new era of Toyota motorsports was born.

Since then, Toyota has manufactured a couple of race-inspired GR models (including the GR Supra and GR86), but for model year 2023, an all-new entrant will be released to compete against the Honda Civic Type R: the Toyota GR Corolla. Developed by the storied Gazoo Racing team, the ’23 GR Corolla will offer next-level performance for enthusiastic operators looking to unleash their inner daredevil.

The Basics

The ’23 GR Corolla is an ultra-sporty hatchback that Toyota will soon release in Core and Circuit Edition grades. Their heart and soul will be the G16E 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine (300 hp and 273 lb.-ft. of torque) with a rev-matching six-speed manual transmission. A rally-developed GR-Four all-wheel drive system will also be standard. Drivers will have the option of choosing from three power distribution settings – 60:40, 50:50, and 30:70 – for more tailored performance in different situations.

The ’23 GR Corolla shows off a broad hatch profile and a low center of gravity for optimal handling. It’s assembled on Toyota’s GA-C platform and has been developed exclusively at the GR Factory in Motomachi. The GR Corolla was painstakingly tested by professional drivers, too, (including Morizo himself) at many of Japan’s leading circuits, like the Fuji Speedway, Suzuka, and Tsukuba Circuit. Not only that, but it was put through the wringer in heavy dirt and snow conditions by a Japanese Rally Championship driver. In short, the ’23 GR Corolla has proven that it can handle whatever rigorous challenges are put before it.

Exterior Characteristics

The ’23 GR Corolla is a lightweight hatchback that exudes both confidence and strength. It’s low and wide, with an aggressive black matrix grille, beefy fender flares, and a bulging hood with vents that add a dose of boldness to its sharp personality. Other notable exterior features consist of heated side mirrors with turn-signal indicators, automatic LED headlights and daytime running lights, LED fog lights (Circuit Edition), a gloss-black rear spoiler (a gloss-black lip spoiler is issued on the Core), and other functional air vents.

Sporty and Functional Interior

The ’23 GR Corolla’s interior takes inspiration from premium performance vehicles. Its cabin has an intuitive layout and amenities such as a 12.3-inch color multi-information display with sport meters, a bright display screen with GR start-up animations, and a manual shift lever with an exclusive Morizo-signed knob. The Core’s interior is all black and stitched with silver, while the Circuit Edition trades the silver accents for striking red. The Circuit Edition will also feature Brin Naub suede and synthetic leather sport seats and GR-badged headrests with red mesh inserts. Other deluxe content in the Circuit Edition will include automatic climate control, one-touch auto up/down windows, a wireless phone charger, and heating for the front seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Both trims will come with push-button start, aluminum sport pedals, two USB charging ports, a 12-volt power outlet, illuminated foot wells, and a sophisticated multimedia system with an 8-inch touchscreen, Toyota’s Drive Connect Intelligent Assistant (a voice recognition system that can control the cabin temperature, locate points of interests, and adjust audio settings with a simple command), Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, SiriusXM satellite radio, and HD radio. The Circuit Edition will get a premium eight-speaker JBL audio system.

Advanced Safety Aids

The ’23 GR Corolla will get Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 containing advanced safety technologies such as a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control with lane tracing assist, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, road sign assist, and a rear-seat reminder. Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and hill start assist will also come standard.


The Core trim level will be eligible for three packages: Performance, Technology, and Cold Weather. The Performance Package will supply front and rear Torsen limited-slip differentials, four-piston aluminum fixed-caliper disc brakes with red-painted calipers and a GR logo, 14-in. x 1.1-in. ventilated and slotted front rotors, two-piston aluminum fixed-caliper disc brakes (also with red calipers and the GR logo), and 11.7-in. x 0.7-in. ventilated rear rotors. The Technology Package bundles the eight-speaker JBL sound system and wireless phone charger from the Circuit Edition. The Cold Weather Package will furnish heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.