The giant-slayer from Toyota: GR Corolla track test and review

J.G.
By J.G. Pasterjak
Jun 26, 2024 | Toyota, FIRM, GR Corolla, Track Test | Posted in Features | From the April 2024 issue | Never miss an article

Photography Credit: Donovan Dwyer

They did it. Toyota called our bluff. The marque built a Corolla with 300 horsepower, all-wheel drive, brakes that could stop an airliner and a seriously tweaked chassis. 

It’s the kind of car you doubtlessly sketched in a middle school notebook when you should have been paying attention to a lecture on the Magna Carta but were letting your mind drift …

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Comments
Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
2/9/24 10:54 a.m.

So it sounds like if you really enjoy that old-school, kick-in-the-pants turbo boost, this is the one for you–but if you hate turbo lag, you should probably look elsewhere.

Turbo_Rev
Turbo_Rev Reader
2/9/24 11:17 a.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

Having driven one, they're extremely responsive. No discernable turbo lag. That motor likes to rev, too. 

drake
drake GRM+ Member
2/9/24 1:31 p.m.

For that much money I think I would rather build out my 2002 Bug Eye Wrx wagon. After 18 years it's still a lot of fun. I'm an old fart that is not enamored with all these modern electronics.

thashane
thashane GRM+ Memberand Reader
2/9/24 2:16 p.m.

I shopped GR Corollas. I live in the snow, but work at a lower elevation. AWD would be nice. Toyota has been putting out some great drivers cars

 

BUT - I'm not paying over MSRP. I'm hesitant to buy *ANY* Toyota or Honda now. And if I do, I'll likely travel over 200 miles to the few dealerships that put me on the MSRP waitlist. $10k over on an Si, $20k over on a CTR?! $15k over on a GRC. I understand supply & demand, I understand free market, but I won't forget how smug and condescending those Sales Persons & Managers were. 

dstn2bdoa
dstn2bdoa None
2/9/24 3:13 p.m.

In reply to thashane : Couldn't have said it better myself. I also live at altitude and work down below. This car seems to check all the boxes, but I won't pay over MSRP either. We'll see if the market calms down.

 

dstn2bdoa
dstn2bdoa New Reader
2/9/24 3:34 p.m.

Did you guys have any trouble with the diffs over heating during your track time? Is the online chatter blowing it out of proportion? Or is it a legitimate issue?

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS Reader
2/9/24 8:11 p.m.
dstn2bdoa said:

Did you guys have any trouble with the diffs over heating during your track time? Is the online chatter blowing it out of proportion? Or is it a legitimate issue?

i was going to ask the same question, i'm curious to know if it can manage heat well enough to drive a full session especially if you uprate to a stickier 200tw 

secretariata (Forum Supporter)
secretariata (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/9/24 8:51 p.m.

So, if you had $40k to spend (assuming that is about what MSRP is for a Core with the Performance Package) would you drop your cash on a GR or the best 911 you could get? Assuming it would be kept as a fun street car that occasionally gets used for autocross and/or track fun (so no gutted interior and caged "fake" street car).

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
2/9/24 9:35 p.m.
dstn2bdoa said:

Did you guys have any trouble with the diffs over heating during your track time? Is the online chatter blowing it out of proportion? Or is it a legitimate issue?

1. No

2. Probably not

3. Maybe?

Our sessions tend to be pretty short. I rarely do more than 2 hot laps back to back, especilly with tall, FWD or AWD cars, mostly to preserve tires. We really don;t want to give press loaners back with chunked-out tires, so part of the methodology is in place to preserve the rubber and hardware.

Likewise, at the press launch in Utah in 2022, the hot laps were all single-lap standaing starts. Basically like a track sprint. And there were no cars being taken out of circulation due to overheating diffs there.

All that said, anecdotally we hear about a lot of owners reporting drivetrain heat issues during sessions over 10-15 minutes. Anecdotes are not data, but there's enough chatter out there to make me believe there's an issue. Although it sounds like the kind of issue that the aftermarket should salve pretty easily. Some sort of fluid cooler or enhanced airflow management or something should be in development since this appears to be a real thing. 

WOW Really Paul?
WOW Really Paul? MegaDork
2/9/24 10:45 p.m.

I wish we got the Yaris GR....but once these have been around awhile, they'll definitely be on my radar. 

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