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The Toyota GR Corolla is an all-wheel-drive, 300hp hot hatch

The newest member of the Gazoo Racing family has four doors

The GR Corolla fills in the niche that the GR Yaris occupies in other markets. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

Toyota’s Gazoo Racing has put out some absolutely astounding performance vehicles in the past few years. One of which is the GR Yaris, which is a rally-bred monster of a three-door hatchback. It’s easy to see how much of an impact this made around the world, but sadly not everyone got the car.

But instead of giving us a consolation prize, Toyota has something else up its sleeve. Say hello to the GR Corolla, which is Toyota’s newest all-wheel-drive hot hatch.

Dear Toyota: We want this Corolla. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

It’s based on the four-door Corolla hatchback (which our market doesn’t get). Like other full-fat GR vehicles, it will be assembled in the Motomachi plant in Japan. There will be two variants available: the Core and the Circuit edition.

It looks like Gazoo Racing has given the tame hatchback plenty of time at the gym, sculpting it with a wider track, flared fenders, side rockers with GR-Four stamped in them, 18-inch wheels shod in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber, functional vents, a rear spoiler, and a rear diffuser.

The Core variant looks to be the sensible sibling of the two. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

The Core variant will come with a color-matched aluminum roof, and be available in White, Black, and Supersonic Red. It also comes with optional packages such as the Performance, the Technology (JBL premium audio and wireless phone charging), and the Cold Weather (heated front seats and steering wheel).

The Circuit edition receives a vented hood, a gloss-black rear spoiler, and a forged carbon-fiber roof (just like the GR Yaris). Colors include White, Black, and an exclusive gray called “Heavy Metal.”

Nothing fancy here. Just a spiced-up Corolla cabin. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

The interior comes with a leather-trimmed steering wheel, a mechanical handbrake, black and silver accents, six speakers, the new Toyota Audio Multimedia infotainment, fabric GR-branded seats, and a unique 12.3-inch digital gauge.

If you opt for the Circuit Edition, the front seats get trimmed in suede and synthetic leather, black and red accents, eight JBL speakers with an amplifier, and a shift knob signed by “Morizo” (or Akio Toyoda).

All model grades will come standard with Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, which includes improvements to the pre-collision system with pedestrian detection (which can now detect motorcycles and guardrails), and improvements to lane recognition.

This tiny turbocharged three-banger now pushes out a healthy 300hp. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

The GR Corolla has a few things similar to its smaller GR Yaris sibling. For one, the three-cylinder, 1.6-liter turbocharged G16E-GTS engine now pushes 300hp and 373Nm thanks to a few modifications including a less restrictive triple exhaust system. It is still mated to a six-speed manual transmission with rev-matching tech.

Underpinned by the GA-C platform, the car also carries over the same GR-Four AWD system that allows it to have anything from a 50:50 to 30:70 torque split in case you want to go sideways. There’s a MacPherson-type front suspension and double-wishbone multilink suspension system to keep you planted in the corners.

Opt for the Circuit Edition (or get the Performance Package for the Core), and you receive front and rear Torsen limited-slip differentials, and upgraded four-piston brakes with red-painted calipers with the GR logo.

We'd probably be just as excited to take this out on a soaking wet racetrack as this chap. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

Pricing has yet to be announced, but the Core grade will go on sale first—later this year (including Japan), with the Circuit edition following next year as a limited-run model.

All owners in the US will receive a complimentary one-year membership to the National Auto Sport Association, which includes a high-performance driving event with an instructor to help owners make full use of their new hot hatches.

A question that begs to be answered now is: Will we receive this model? Considering Japan is pegged to receive it later this year, it’s not impossible for us to see a local release. Pretty please, Toyota Motor Philippines?

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.