Toyota GR Corolla: 300 hp AWD forbidden fruitcake

► Corolla gets some of that GR Yaris good time juice
► Three pot turbo tuned and AWD included
► Not planned for Europe, but we can hope

Is the Toyota GR Corolla an April Fool? After all, Toyota Rickrolled the entire auto industry during its full-scale electric vehicle strategy announcement not too long ago when it placed a QR code prominently on one of the models related to the video of I’ll never abandon you on Youtube. Anyway, fair play: the GR Corolla is a great novelty.

Taking the basic premise of the GR Yaris but upping the boost and pushing it into a larger car seems like a recipe for massive success to us – especially as said automobile is based on the remarkably nimble TNGA platform. The problem is that it apparently does not come to disturb other hot hatches in Europe either.

Let’s start the petition immediately.

So that’s Corolla made GR Yaris, right?

Although it didn’t get a bespoke silhouette, as there was no pressing need to try and homologate it for anything, the bodywork is upgraded with additional welds and increased amounts of adhesive. structural. The GR also gets an impressive and aggressive makeover, transforming the already sharp hatchback Corolla into an apex predator.

Yes, it’s a pun. For beneath all those sharp vents and bits is a variant of the same 1.6-litre direct-injected turbo-triple that powers the GR Yaris (the G16E-GTS, as you of course already know) and the GR-Four all driving wheels – Driving system.

It has also been developed and tested by Akido Toyoda and Gazoo Racing’s factory rider lineup, and is assembled at the Motomachi factory alongside other GR models.

Run the numbers…

Power in the GR Corolla hits 300 hp – an increase of almost 20% – while torque swells a bit more modestly to 273 lb-ft (from 265).

Toyota hasn’t made any claims on the 0-62mph time (typical for a US-market model), but with the extra power balancing the extra weight, it should be at least on par with the 5.5 seconds that the GR Yaris needs . Similarly, there’s no official top speed, but who’d bet it’s a 150mph sedan?

Toyota GR Corolla, Circuit Edition, grey, rear view

Echoing the three-cylinder configuration, a valved triple outlet exhaust punctuates the rear diffuser.

Will it be a GR-Fource to be reckoned with?

Absolutely – because beyond the stats is the all-wheel-drive system, which gives drivers a choice of front/rear torque split to suit a range of intentions: from the standard 60:40 to 50:50 and even 30:70. Woohoo.

Drifting Toyota GR Corolla, front view

Open differentials are standard, with front and rear LSDs available as part of an optional performance package. The transmission is a six-speed manual.

Meanwhile, the launch year-only Circuit Edition comes with a forged carbon fiber roof, vented bonnet bulge and extra-sporty rear spoiler. However, the standard Core model is hardly wise.

How much does the GR Corolla cost?

Toyota hasn’t said how much the GR Corolla will cost yet, but seems to be remarkably good at offering these things at an incredible price, so American buyers will probably be delighted. They don’t get the GR Yaris, so for them, let’s hope the big brother is just as neat.

Toyota UK is adamant it’s not coming to Europe. Which is a shame, for many reasons – not least because it would be another chance to put the boot in Nissan, which, as we recently noticed, seems to have abandoned fun cars altogether for this region.

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