In a stunning move, Toyota has unleashed its latest powerhouse, the Toyota Corolla GR, into the exciting realm of Gazoo Racing speedsters. The GR badge, synonymous with performance excellence, now adorns the beloved family hatch, transforming it into a sassy and lightning-fast contender.
The inclusion of the Corolla GR in the esteemed Gazoo Racing family marks a momentous occasion for Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) and the illustrious Corolla nameplate. A model cherished by South Africans for generations, the Corolla continues to evolve and remain relevant in the market. Embracing its motorsport heritage, the GR Corolla emerges as an electrifying hot hatch, sending waves of thrill and excitement among automotive enthusiasts.
Taking the Corolla GR for a spirited spin around the Zwartkops Raceway, one is immediately captivated by its exclusivity and genuine love for dynamic driving. Embodying the essence of Gazoo Racing, this impressive machine boasts leech-like roadholding and nimble agility while retaining its practicality as a small family hatch.
Notably, Toyota has catered to driving purists by equipping the Corolla GR with a manual transmission. This enhancement elevates the driving experience, eliciting a sense of connection between man and machine, as drivers shift through the six seamless ratios, demanding a little extra skill and precision compared to an automatic transmission.
Contrasting its wild sibling, the Yaris GR, the Corolla GR exudes refined poise. Its slightly larger frame ensures smoother directional changes, minimizing any harshness during rapid maneuvers. This calculated balance strikes the perfect chord, satisfying both the thrill-seekers and those seeking a more composed ride.
Beneath the Corolla GR’s hood resides a high-performance 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine, a close relative to the GR Yaris’ powerplant. Delving into the realm of motorsport-inspired engineering, Toyota has fine-tuned the engine to unleash an astonishing 221kW of power at 6,500 rpm and an awe-inspiring 360Nm of torque between 3,000 and 5,550 rpm. Remarkably, the engineers have managed to maintain a commendable combined fuel consumption of 8.4 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 191 g/km.
Toyota’s rich history in crafting sporty cars and participating in motorsport events lends a magical touch to the Corolla GR’s performance prowess. Drawing inspiration from iconic models like the 2000GT, MR2, and Celica, as well as their involvement in various motorsport categories, Toyota engineers have skillfully integrated motorsport technology into the heart of the Corolla GR.
To achieve this outstanding power delivery, Toyota has implemented several motorsport-derived innovations. Thinner cylinder head walls and a two-level cam cap structure enhance both weight reduction and improved sealing, optimizing combustion chamber cooling. The ingenious restructuring of the water jacket and cylinder block further elevates the engine’s efficiency. Additionally, the addition of a new exhaust cam bearing at the rear edge of the third cylinder maximizes output, while high-speed combustion technology inspired by the motorsport world ensures peak performance.
The Toyota Corolla GR emerges as a shining star, seamlessly blending sportiness and practicality in an automotive masterpiece. Embracing its Gazoo Racing heritage, the GR Corolla reaffirms Toyota’s commitment to delivering exhilarating driving experiences, solidifying its position as a true champion in the hot hatch segment. If you seek a ride that epitomizes sheer charm and blistering speed, the Corolla GR is an exceptional choice that will undoubtedly leave you in awe.