Toyota GR CorollaToyota GR Corolla

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Toyota reveals hot 300bhp GR Corolla – but there’s a catch

  • Japanese carmaker finally reveals GR Corolla
  • New hot hatch will rival Volkswagen Golf R and Mercedes-AMG A 35
  • UK dealers won’t get the chance to sell it, though

Time 9:34 am, April 2, 2022

Toyota’s much-talked-about hot GR version of its Corolla has finally been launched – but there’s a catch.

The brand new 300bhp Volkswagen Golf R rival will go on sale later this year, but the Japanese carmaker has decided UK dealers won’t be able to offer it in their showrooms.

The Corolla GR would have sat in UK dealerships alongside the GR Yaris, GR Supra and forthcoming GR 86 sports car.

Instead, it’ll only officially be available in the USA and Japan.

The GR Corolla has been tuned and developed by the Japanese firm’s motorsport division, Gazoo Racing, to have more power, better handling and a more aggressive exterior appearance.

Under the bonnet sits the same 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine found in the much-loved GR Yaris, boasting 300bhp.

The all-wheel drive system has also been borrowed from that car, but optimised for use in the Corolla.

The GR model has a 60mm wider track up front and 85mm wider track at the rear compared with the Corolla Sport, which boosts stability in corners.

The body has been stiffened up to improve handling, with extra braces fitted at various places. Meanwhile, the roof is made from light carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic to lower the centre of gravity as well as the vehicle’s overall weight.

On the outside, the Corolla Sport has been used as the base, but the GR version gets wider arches to accommodate the extra track width, while triple-exit exhausts improve performance and further add to the sporty character.

Aerodynamic optimisation also resulted in the addition of a front bumper air intake as well as air outlets in the front fenders and hood bulge.

Inside, a short-stroke gear shifter has been used for rapid gear changes, with a hand-operated handbrake giving more precise control when drifting, for example.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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