Autofocus: 2022 Toyota GR Corolla

The world premiere of the all-new 2022 Toyota GR Corolla by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (TGR) in Long Beach, California, USA, on March 31 must have been quite an event. It’s interesting that the premiere coincided with the opening round of the Formula Drift season.

2022 Toyota GR Corolla

The GR Corolla is a high-performance version of the popular Toyota Corolla, developed by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. It represents Toyota’s commitment to creating exciting and sporty vehicles. While the specific details of the GR Corolla have not been mentioned, it’s safe to assume that it will come with enhanced performance features, aggressive styling, and advanced technology.

According to the information you provided, the GR Corolla is scheduled to be launched in Japan in the second half of 2022. It’s always exciting to see automakers like Toyota expanding their lineup with performance-oriented models like the GR Corolla. This allows car enthusiasts to enjoy a blend of practicality and thrilling driving experiences.

The Corolla has a rich history in motorsports, with notable achievements such as the TE25 Corolla earning Toyota’s first WRC victory in 1973 and the Corolla Levin winning the 1,000 Lakes Rally in 1975. These successes laid the foundation for TGR’s philosophy of creating “ever-better motorsports-bred cars” and established the Corolla as a beloved model known for its driving performance.
The development of the GR Corolla was driven by the strong desire of Toyota President Akio Toyoda, also known as Morizo, to bring back a Corolla that captivates customers. Following this vision, the GR Corolla underwent extensive development with a focus on refining its performance through racing and making it commercially available.

To achieve this, the GR Corolla was extensively tested and refined in the extreme environment of racing. It participated in the Super Taikyu Series using a hydrogen engine-equipped Corolla, allowing Toyota to refine both the vehicle and its hydrogen engine technology. Toyota Master Driver Morizo himself took turns behind the wheel during these racing endeavors. Additionally, prototypes of the GR Corolla were put through rigorous testing on challenging terrains such as dirt roads and snow-covered roads, ensuring that the vehicle delivers confident and enjoyable performance in various situations. The input of drivers with unique perspectives, including Morizo, racing driver Hiroaki Ishiura, All Japan Rally Championship winner Norihiko Katsuta, and in-house evaluators, further contributed to the comprehensive honing of the GR Corolla.
The GR Corolla features a strengthened version of the 1.6-liter in-line three-cylinder intercooler turbo engine found in the GR Yaris, providing a maximum output of 224 kW (304 PS). The GR-FOUR 4WD system, also featured in the GR Yaris, has been optimized to match the specifications of the GR Corolla, ensuring safe and secure control even at its limits.
While the GR Corolla adopts the basic body framework of the Toyota Corolla Sport to inherit high-speed stability, it distinguishes itself with a 60 mm wider front track and an 85 mm wider rear track, enhancing its cornering performance. This results in a sporty driving experience with a sense of confidence. The GR Corolla maintains a practical five-door, five-passenger layout, providing exceptional usability for daily life alongside its driving pleasure.

Since its introduction in 1966, the Corolla has continuously evolved to meet the changing needs and lifestyles of Toyota customers. With the addition of the GR Corolla to the lineup, a sports car packed with driving performance and functionality, the Corolla series will continue to evolve, offering a range of options to cater to different customer preferences.

Main features of the GR Corolla


In the design of the GR Corolla, certain modifications have been made to the basic body framework of the Corolla Sport to enhance its performance and visual appeal. The front and rear fenders have been widened by 30 mm, giving the car a broader stance that hints at its spirited driving capabilities.
To further emphasize the powerful and sporty rear of the GR Corolla, a muffler with triple exhaust outlets has been specifically designed to increase the output of the 1.6-liter in-line three-cylinder intercooler turbo engine. This design element adds to the unique and aggressive look of the vehicle’s rear end.
The cooling and aerodynamic performance of the GR Corolla has been honed through extensive testing on various types of roads, including racing circuits, dirt roads, and snow-covered roads. As a result, the car features a front-bumper air intake, as well as air outlets on the front fenders and hood bulge. These additions improve airflow and help optimize cooling efficiency, ensuring the vehicle remains properly cooled even during demanding driving conditions.

These design elements not only contribute to the overall aesthetics of the GR Corolla but also serve functional purposes, enhancing performance and maintaining optimal operating conditions under various driving scenarios.


The GR Corolla incorporates several features to enhance the driving experience and provide better control for the driver.
To facilitate quick and seamless gear changes, the GR Corolla is equipped with a short-stroke shift lever. The lever is positioned in a way that allows for natural operation by simply lowering the arm from the steering wheel. This setup enables the driver to shift gears quickly and effortlessly, enhancing the overall driving dynamics of the vehicle.
For improved vehicle control, especially during high-performance maneuvers like drifting, a hand-operated parking brake has been utilized in the GR Corolla. This type of parking brake enables the driver to have better control over the vehicle’s braking system, allowing for precise handling in extreme driving situations.

The GR Corolla features the Full TFT Meter, a specially developed instrument cluster exclusively designed for GR models. Inspired by race cars and incorporating insights from professional drivers, this new display provides improved visibility and readability, particularly during sporty driving. The Full TFT Meter offers a clear and comprehensive view of essential driving information, ensuring that the driver can easily monitor various parameters while focusing on the road ahead.

These features demonstrate the focus on driver engagement and performance in the design and development of the GR Corolla, aiming to provide an exhilarating driving experience while maintaining control and visibility in various driving situations.

An evolved version of the GR Yaris 1.6-liter in-line three-cylinder intercooler turbo engine

The GR Corolla’s engine has undergone improvements to enhance both output and efficiency. The same compact, lightweight, high-power unit found in the GR Yaris has been utilized, but with enhancements to achieve even higher performance.

2022 Toyota GR Corolla

One of the improvements made to the engine is the enhancement of exhaust efficiency. This optimization allows for increased output from the engine. To achieve this, a valve-equipped triple-exhaust muffler has been employed. This muffler design reduces both exhaust pressure and noise, resulting in improved engine performance and a more pleasant experience when revving the engine.
These enhancements to the engine contribute to the GR Corolla’s overwhelming acceleration, providing a powerful and thrilling driving experience. The engine’s ability to deliver high output and a smooth extension of RPMs allows drivers to enjoy a dynamic and engaging driving experience, making the GR Corolla a truly exhilarating sports car.

A wide track and long wheelbase for excellent driving stability and control

In the development of the GR Corolla, the basic body framework of the Toyota Corolla Sport has been utilized. This framework provides a foundation of excellent driving stability, thanks in part to the vehicle’s long wheelbase. However, specific modifications have been made to further enhance the car’s performance, particularly in terms of high-speed cornering.
To achieve improved high-speed cornering performance, the track width of the GR Corolla has been widened. The front track has been increased by 60 mm, while the rear track has been widened by 85 mm. By expanding the track width, the vehicle’s stability and control during spirited driving have been greatly enhanced. The wider track contributes to improved grip, reduced body roll, and enhanced overall stability, allowing drivers to confidently push the car to its limits while enjoying a dynamic and engaging driving experience.

By combining the inherent stability provided by the long wheelbase of the Corolla Sport with the increased track width of the GR Corolla, the vehicle delivers heightened performance and handling characteristics. These enhancements offer drivers a greater sense of control and confidence, enabling them to fully enjoy the driving experience while pushing the car to its limits.
In summary, the widening of the track in the GR Corolla, while maintaining the Corolla Sport’s long wheelbase, results in improved high-speed cornering performance. This enhancement provides drivers with enhanced stability, control, and enjoyment, allowing them to drive the vehicle with confidence, even in demanding driving conditions.

A selectable-mode GR-FOUR 4WD system and a high-rigidity body

The GR Corolla features the GR-FOUR 4WD system, which is similar to the one used in the GR Yaris. This system utilizes an electronic multi-plate clutch to provide variable front and rear driving force. However, in the GR Corolla, the “4WD” mode, which controls the distribution of driving force, and the “Drive” mode, which controls accelerator response, steering, and other parameters, have been separated. This separation allows drivers to select the desired mode based on their preferences and the driving conditions they encounter.

To ensure optimal transmission of driving force to the road surface, the GR Corolla incorporates pillow-ball bushings, as well as optimized springs, shock absorbers, and wheel alignment. This combination results in outstanding cornering performance, enabling the vehicle to handle corners with precision and confidence.
Body rigidity has been a focus in achieving agile and responsive driving performance. The GR Corolla benefits from strengthened body rigidity, thanks to its production at the GR Factory located at Toyota’s Motomachi Plant. Additionally, braces have been added between the rear wheel wells, in the under-floor tunnel, and under the floor in front of the fuel tank to further enhance handling stability. Similar to the GR Yaris, the GR Corolla utilizes a roof panel made of CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic) molded through the SMC (Sheet Molding Compound) process. This not only increases rigidity but also contributes to weight reduction, improving overall performance.

For reliable and controllable braking, the GR Corolla is equipped with opposed caliper disc brakes. These brakes provide stable braking force and excellent controllability, ensuring confident and enjoyable driving experiences, even on racing circuits.
The combination of the GR-FOUR 4WD system, optimized chassis components, strengthened body rigidity, and high-performance braking systems in the GR Corolla showcases its dedication to providing exceptional driving dynamics and performance for enthusiasts.

Advanced safety and security even for a sports car

The GR Corolla is equipped with Toyota Safety Sense, the latest active safety package developed by Toyota. This package includes a range of advanced safety features that come standard with the vehicle. By integrating these safety technologies, the GR Corolla aims to provide a balance between safety and the exhilarating driving experience expected from a sports car.

By including Toyota Safety Sense as standard equipment, the GR Corolla aims to provide a comprehensive safety package that enhances driver confidence and helps to prevent or mitigate potential accidents. This allows drivers to enjoy the driving pleasure of a sports car while having peace of mind with advanced safety features to support them during their daily driving experiences.

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