The 2023 GR Corolla debuted earlier this year and gives North American driving enthusiasts the hot hatch they have been asking for.
The automaker said in a statement that before the new addition to the Toyota GR sports car model line becomes available in Toyota dealerships in 2023, Toyota provides a glimpse of the new model’s potential for aftermarket customization with its GR Corolla Rally Concept.
On display at the 2022 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center is Toyota’s new and expanded exhibit (Central Hall, Booth No. 22200), including the GR Corolla Rally Concept – rocket fuel for those who love Toyota sports cars and rally performance.
“The all-new GR Corolla checks all the driving excitement boxes – 300 horsepower, turbocharged performance, standard six-speed manual,all-wheel-drive handling and hot hatch functionality,” said Lisa Materazzo, group vice president – Toyota Division Marketing.
“The GR Corolla Rally Concept shows what happens when we apply a healthy dose of Toyota Gazoo Racing DNA and expand the GR Corolla’s rallying roots.”
Starting with a 2023 GR Corolla Circuit Edition, Marty Schwerter and the Toyota Motorsports Garage team – Brad Vetter, lead fabricator; Justin Lacore, fabricator; and David Senn, technician – nailed the goal of creating an ultimate rally machine. Inspired by the Toyota Gazoo Racing GR Yaris Rally1 World Rally Championship race car, they focused on applying many of the race car’s technologies and characteristics to this concept.
The first task was creating functional rally car bodywork that complements the GR Corolla’s already dynamic look. They fabricated an aggressive wide body configuration with massive three-inch fender flares made from 20-gauge steel, and integrated carbon composite side skirts. Huge openings in front and rear fenders direct and exhaust dirty air from the wheel openings, and the fenders are aerodynamically designed to create maximum downforce.
More aero and downforce advantages come by way of a carbon composite front splitter with a 4.5-inch overall length, and a massive custom-fabricated carbon fiber rear wing. This design features both a wing and spoiler providing two elements of downforce, with side plates mounted to the hatch to align the wing with the vehicle’s roofline.
Of primary importance was increasing airflow to the custom oil and transmission coolers mounted in the interior and just behind the driver and navigator. The team custom designed functional rear quarter windows with vents directing air to the coolers, and Toyota North America R&D Engineering Design Innovation 3D-printed the components.
On the corners are 17 x 8-inch OZ Racing wheels with 215/60R17 Continental VikingContact® 7 tires, and fully adjustable TEIN Gravel Rally coilovers to complete the package. The team kept the GR Corolla’s robust and capable brake setup with 14 x 1.1-inch ventilated and slotted rotors with four-piston aluminum calipers, then added Wilwood® turning brakes – a secondary set of rear calipers – to help provide the braking and turning control needed for gravel rally terrain. Combined with the custom bodywork, the result is a stance that is six inches wider than stock.
The production G16E-GTS 1.6-liter, three-cylinder port injected turbo, 12-valve DOHC engine with its single-scroll ball-bearing turbocharger that already produces a healthy 300 horsepower and 273 lb.-ft. of torque, provides a solid heartbeat for this new hot hatch. With the help of MagnaFlow®, the team added a fully custom exhaust system and GR high flow air filter to help optimize airflow and exhaust performance.
The interior is all rally driving function and purpose, with the team adding only what a rally team needs and modifying the rear seats to fit the roll cage and spare tire. The GR Corolla Rally Concept features OMP® Racing seats and belts, a custom full cage made from TIG welded 1 3/4-inch x .095 DOM steel, OMP Racing fire suppression system, ZeroNoise® rally intercom system and a spare tire mount and jack. With the addition of the turning brake system, the team slightly relocated the standard six-speed manual shifter to provide optimal driver ergonomics.
Adding Toyota Gazoo Racing-inspired paintwork by Complete Customs®, McKinney, Texas, completes the goal of enticing the imagination of what can be done with the dynamic GR Corolla canvas.
Toyota is displaying 12 additional special project concepts in its SEMA Show exhibit at the Las Vegas Convention Center Nov. 1-4, 2022, showcasing a breadth of on- and off-pavement performance and adventure.