Fire-Breathing Fun: The Toyota GR Corolla Ignites the Streets
Toyota's sub-brand Gazoo Racing is at it again, and this time they're bringing the heat with a sizzling new addition to their lineup – the GR Corolla. With the GR86, GR Supra, and GR Yaris already tearing up the tracks, the GR Corolla joins the high-performance TOYOTA GAZOO Racing family, promising a fiery experience that's not your everyday Corolla ride.
Glenn Crompton, the Vice President of Marketing at Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM), can't help but gush about the monumental occasion the GR Corolla represents. "For decades Corolla has been one of South Africa's most-loved models," he exclaims, "and to have a fully-fledged hot hatch version of the Corolla is a huge thrill."
So, what sets this beast apart? Let's peel back the curtain and see what's cooking in the GR Corolla's fiery cauldron of performance.
Hot Hatch Looks with Performance to Match
Designed to stand out from its tamer Corolla siblings, the GR Corolla's exterior is an orchestra of changes that scream high-performance. The wheel arches have been extended, giving the car a wide and low stance that's ready to pounce. The Functional Matrix grille up front adds a touch of aggression while keeping things cool, both in terms of looks and engine temperature.
Airflow is the name of the game, with side air curtains channeling air where it's needed, and a front underspoiler directing the wind for less drag. LED headlights illuminate the night, and the bonnet boasts functional air vents that not only look cool but help the engine breathe easier.
Around back, the wide rear track gets its moment in the spotlight, flanked by a unique triple-exit exhaust system that's not just for show – it's here to improve performance. The GR Corolla's designers have thought of everything, from aerodynamic enhancements to a stylish blacked-out grille and black alloy wheels that complete the menacing look.
Interior – Where the Real Fun Begins
Inside, the GR Corolla's performance intentions are palpable. A sporty three-spoke steering wheel, reminiscent of the GR Yaris, offers a firm grip for dynamic driving. The redesigned center console features a short-throw shift lever with a GR logo, giving you that racecar feel every time you shift gears.
No need to fumble around for your gadgets either – there's a wireless phone charger and USB-C ports ready to keep your devices juiced up. Aluminium pedals add to the sporty flair, and heated sports seats give you the support you need for those thrilling drives.
Under the hood, the GR Corolla houses a turbocharged 1.6-litre three-cylinder petrol engine that's a result of Toyota's extensive motorsport expertise. With 221kW at 6500rpm and 360Nm of torque from 3000 to 5550rpm, this compact engine packs quite a punch.
To make sure the engine delivers those fiery numbers reliably, technologies derived from motorsport experience have been employed. The result is a compact powerhouse that's ready to roar when you put the pedal to the metal.
Dance of Dynamics
The GR Corolla's dance of dynamics is choreographed by Toyota's TNGA-C architecture, which offers a blend of rigidity, low weight, and precision handling. Strengthened with additional spot welds and structural adhesive, the chassis is designed to keep you in control, no matter how fiery things get.
The suspension has been overhauled for optimal stability and lowered center of gravity, with MacPherson strut and trailing double-wishbone setups at the front and rear. The result? A vehicle that's responsive, agile, and hugs the road like it's its best friend.
Safety with a Dash of Spice
Even with all the performance talk, Toyota hasn't skimped on safety. The GR Corolla boasts advanced Toyota Safety Sense technology, ensuring you're protected while you're having fun. Emergency steering assist helps you navigate obstacles, and high-speed active cruise control keeps you a safe distance from other vehicles.
Conclusion – Burn Rubber, Not Bridges
The Toyota GR Corolla is more than just a car; it's a symphony of performance, design, and excitement. With a heart that roars like a dragon and looks that could set the asphalt on fire, this hot hatch is a welcome addition to the GAZOO Racing lineup. So, buckle up, because the GR Corolla is here to bring the heat – and it's not backing down anytime soon.