The last time when we were so excited about hatchbacks was in the 90s. We thought we never had the chance to go ga-ga over a small capacity hatchback ever again but here we are, looking at this new pocket rocket, the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla Circuit Edition

OK. To be fair, we did kind of went ga-ga over the GR Yaris. But as far as Corolla goes, when was the last time it actually excites? I know, that was the distant past. And when was the last time we hear about a 1.6L, 3-cylinder turbocharged hatchback that makes 300 horses (!) and 273 lb-ft (370 Nm) of torque. Hardly ever. Not even in the age of Civic SiR.

That’s right, folks, there is going to be a Corolla hatchback with that much power to offer. Crazy, I know. It kind of brings back the glorious days of Japanese performance hatchbacks. Remember the Swift GTi? The Pulsar GTiR? The Mazda 323 GTX? And the E80 Corolla hatchbacks with 4A-GE DOHC engine? Those were the days huh? It is awesome that Toyota is reigniting the performance hatchback segment.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla Circuit Edition

The new 2023 Toyota GR Corolla is powered by the lightweight G16E-GTS turbocharged, direct/port-injected three-cylinder engine that puts out the aforementioned 300-horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque which peaks out at 3,000-5,500 RPM. The compact-yet-powerful engine is paired exclusively to a purist-approved manual gearbox (yay!).

Built on Toyota’s GA-C platform, the new Corolla is wide and sits low – as a sports car should, and boasts enhanced frame reinforcements developed specifically for GR Corolla. It has functional exterior air vents – unlike, you know, some cars, erhmmm, *cough* Civic.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla Circuit Edition

A few other notables include a race-inspired interior, 18-inch wheels wrapped in 235/40R18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubbers, fixed-caliper disc brakes with 14×1.1-inch ventilated and slotted rotors with 4—piston aluminum calipers, a unique triple exhaust and GR-Four All-Wheel-Drive drivetrain that offers a choice of 60-40, 50-50, or 30-70 power distribution to the front and rear wheels at the twist of a dial.

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The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla will be offered in two grades: Core and Circuit Edition, and it will go on sale later this year. Pricing will be announced in the coming months.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla Circuit Edition

All images courtesy of Toyota.

Published by Mike

Avid tech enthusiast, gadget lover, marketing critic and most importantly, love to reason and talk.