Sub-$40K GR Corolla tells Golf R to bring it
A sub-$40K, all-wheel-drive hot hatch with a World Rally Championship-winning engine … in this economy? Bless the wonderful wizards at Toyota, but they made it happen.
The manual-only, five-seat 2023 GR Corolla “Core” costs $36,995 with zero options and destination included. Want the fancy set of limited-slip Torsen diffs to go with that 300-hp three-cylinder? That’ll be just $1180, still $7K below a six-speed Golf R. Let’s be fair to the German, however, and add comparable creature comforts to the Toyota via the Cold Weather package ($500, heated front seats and wheel) and Technology Pack ($770, premium audio, in-board navigation, and wireless charging pad). You’re still under $40K.
Toyota does, of course, capitalize on the hype around this car with a few kitted-out, limited-run specials. Each costs a premium: The Circuit Edition, a first-year celebration with all the optional Core hardware plus a forged carbon-fiber roof, an even-larger rear spoiler, a smattering of suede on the seats, and a few extra hood vents—all for $43,995. (Expect the 1500 2023MY units bound for our shores not to go for sticker.)
The Morizo Edition ditches the rear seats and adds 22 additional pound feet of torque a bit higher in the rev range (295, between 3250 and 4600 rpm, vs 273 lb-ft between 3000 and 5500). It also gets a rubber upgrade from the 235-width Michelin PS4s found on the Core and Circuit cars: 245-width Pilot Sport Cup 2s. This salute to Akio Toyoda will be appropriately exclusive—only 200 units—and expensive, at $50,995.
Core-spec GR Corollas will arrive in the U.S. from Japan beginning in November of this year. Too bad it’s not a month earlier, because this WRC-engined upstart just might spook the venerable Golf R.
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