Kurt Verlin
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Toyota GR Corolla Finally Arrives, Does 0-60 in 5.4 Seconds

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2023 Toyota GR Corolla Lineup
Photo: Toyota

It’s a strange world when most of the auto industry is going full-steam-ahead toward electric vehicles — and one of the manufacturers content to continue making manual sports cars is…Toyota. But that’s the world we’re in, and we’re not complaining.

After much anticipation, the Japanese automaker has finally launched the GR Corolla, a new hot hatch cranking out 300 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque out of a turbo 1.6-liter three-cylinder engine. It has a customizable AWD system derived from the Yaris rally car, and a unique triple exhaust system.

Related: Toyota unveils first-ever 2023 GR Corolla

It’s available at three trim levels, though two of them are limited. Besides the core model, you also get a launch-year-exclusive Circuit Edition as well as a very limited MORIZO Edition. Morizo is the name of Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda’s racing alter ego. That may be all the evidence we need that the GR Corolla was a pet project from the big boss himself.

There are far too many features to go over, so if you’re really interested in the car, make sure to head on over to the press release. But in summary, the GR Corolla can be boiled down to something very simple: a car meant to deliver unadulterated driving joy.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla Circuit Edition (stick shift)
Photo: Toyota

The seats are comfy and supportive, the shifting action is sublime, and publications that have managed to get their hands on the car so far are all gushing over the driving dynamics — even if the car only launches from 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds instead of the 4.99 seconds claimed by Toyota.

With a starting price of $35,900, the Toyota GR Corolla is a strong competitor to cars like the Subaru WRX STI, Honda Civic Type R, and Volkswagen Golf R — all of which are more expensive yet slower around the track. Cars like these probably won’t be made anymore in a decade’s time, but between the GR Supra, GR 86, and now the GR Corolla, which are all available with a manual, Toyota is making sure enthusiasts are well taken care of in the meantime.