The Toyota Corolla is one of the most popular and reliable cars in the world, but it has never been known for its exciting performance. That is, until now. Meet the 2024 Toyota GR Corolla, a hot hatch that will make your heart race and your palms sweat. The GR Corolla is the latest creation from TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, the performance division that has also given us the Toyota GR Supra sports car and the Toyota GR 86 coupe. The GR Corolla is not just a regular Corolla with some cosmetic tweaks. It’s a completely different beast that borrows heavily from the rally-inspired GR Yaris, a car that’s not sold in the US but has won many accolades from enthusiasts around the world.
The GR Corolla is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that pumps out an astonishing 300 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. That’s more than twice as much power as the standard Corolla hatchback, and it makes the GR Corolla one of the most powerful cars in its segment. The engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission that sends power to all four wheels via a GR-FOUR all-wheel-drive system.
The GR-FOUR system allows the driver to choose among different power-distribution modes, ranging from a 60/40 front-to-rear split for everyday driving to up to 30/70 to enable drifting fun; a 50/50 split option is designed to provide maximum traction for racing. The system also features front and rear limited-slip differentials that help improve grip and stability on slippery or uneven surfaces.
The GR Corolla also benefits from a sport-tuned suspension that lowers the ride height and improves handling, as well as a stiffer body structure that enhances rigidity and responsiveness. The car rides on 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in high-performance tires, and it comes with large brakes with red calipers for better stopping power. The car also features a rear spoiler, a rear diffuser, and functional vents that improve aerodynamics and cooling.
What’s New for 2024?
The GR Corolla was launched as a 2023 model, but Toyota has made some updates for 2024 to keep it fresh and competitive. The most notable change is the addition of a new trim level called Premium, which adds some luxury and convenience features to the base Core model. The Premium trim comes with:
- Suede-trimmed seats with GR logo
- JBL premium sound system with eight speakers
- Qi wireless charging
- Heated front seats and steering wheel
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Brake cooling ducts
The Premium trim also includes the Performance package, which was previously optional on the Core model. This package adds front and rear limited-slip differentials, red brake calipers, and brake cooling ducts.
Another change for 2024 is the return of the Circuit Edition, which was supposed to be a one-year-only model but proved to be very popular among enthusiasts. The Circuit Edition is the most hardcore version of the GR Corolla, and it comes with some exclusive features that make it lighter and faster. These include:
- Carbon-fiber roof
- Forged BBS wheels
- Rear sport wing
- No rear seat
- No spare tire
The Circuit Edition also gets a new color option for 2024: Blue Flame, which matches the blue interior accents and black lower-body decals.