Skip to content

Toyota GR Corolla – The Greatest Hot Hatch In America?

  • by

The 2023 GR Corolla is the most fun I’ve had in a hot hatch.

Three times well if you’re in pounds and i’m in kilos or something you’re trying to get something in your pocket it was good because i went straight up again it’s connecting to the emergency console i don’t know it thinks we had an accident but this is gonna be a fun call hello everyone and welcome we are sitting inside of the new gr corolla let’s just get to the

Point this thing’s awesome i have really enjoyed driving it so far so let’s work through the various systems talk about how it drives starting with the engine so the engine is a small little 1.6 liter but it packs a punch three cylinders turbocharged about 25 psi of boost in the core and circuit version so there’s three versions of this vehicle core circuit and

Moriso and the core in the circuit have about 25 psi boost and in the marissa you get one extra psi a little bit more torque so in this with this little 1.6 liter three cylinder we’re making 300 horsepower at 6 500 rpm along with that we’re making 273 pound-feet of torque and in the marissa with that extra little bit of boost you are getting to 295 pound feet of

Torque so eight percent boost in torque with the marine so pretty cool little upgrade there now as far as the engine you’ve got all that boost so does it take a while to get there do you have turbo lag yes yes you have turbo lag it’s a small engine but it’s a smooth experience it’s not like it just whacks you all at once with that boost it kind of gradually builds

As you put your foot down and if you are driving out on the track uh where you can keep it in that higher rpm honestly you never really fall out of boost so it’s pretty nice on the track you stay within the power and it feels great part of that comes to the engine design so they have the turbo charger integrated with the exhaust manifold so it’s extremely compact

Extremely short distance that those exhaust gases are traveling small turbo spools up quickly and you get plenty of boost and you get plenty of power so even though it’s a tiny little three cylinder you know still getting 300 horsepower for reference a subaru sti uh you know making similar power 310 horsepower it’s only using 16 psi of boost versus 25 to 26 here

So this has significantly more boost of course because it’s using a smaller engine another benefit of having a three cylinder is that you’re not going to have any overlap with your exhaust valve so as those exhaust valves open up you don’t have to worry about that pressure than affecting another cylinder so typically with a four cylinder you might go with you know

A twin scroll turbo well that’s not necessary here it’s just a single scroll turbo because your exhaust valves aren’t going to overlap so you don’t have to worry about that now as far as the transmission i hope you like manuals because that’s the only option and it’s a good fun manual so six-speed manual transmission they call it intelligent manual transmission

What does that i stand for well there’s two features that the intelligent part of that imt gets you first of all if you’re new to driving a manual don’t have much experience with it this imt is going to help you off the line so if you don’t give quite enough throttle and you’re letting out the clutch too quickly it’ll help give you a little additional throttle

So that it makes takeoff easier for you now i want to point out that you can turn this off you don’t have to have this enabled so you can turn imt off and not worry about that but if you’re just starting out you know it can be helpful to get to learn how to drive a manual the other part of imt is rev matching so i’m in third gear right now pushing the clutch put

It over in a second i didn’t touch the throttle but it blips it up and gets it to the perfect rpm in order to downshift so rev match downshifts if you have imt on and you can of course turn that off if you don’t want to use it so the manual transmission there are significant differences between the core and circuit versus the meriso so the core and circuits share

The exact same manual transmission what you get with the core and circuit is a more aggressive first gear which is great for road driving uh short first gear so that’s nice to see but with the morizo you get a taller first however you get a more aggressive third so you get a shorter third and you also get shorter final drive ratios so in the marisol the only gear

That’s actually taller is first gear and just slightly and then two through six are all going to be you know uh more aggressive gears more torque putting down to the wheels and why they raised it up is because the marizo was a track car and so if you’re trying to do anything silly like you know some gymkhana and you want to keep those revs up in first gear or if

You’re trying to have fun out on the track and you want you know a nice longer first gear which you know keeps all of your ratios really close together that first gear ratio gets closer to the second gear ratio so you have these nice drop offs between first to second to third to fourth to fifth and so on so you keep those ratios really close together which is

Ideal for track driving the core and the circuit of course giving you that shorter first gear letting you launch a little bit better now even though the marisol has a taller first gear it still launches to 60 quicker than the core or circuit because it has more torque so it’s not a complete wash it’s actually still quicker even in first but it’s because it has more

Torque okay so from the transmission let’s talk about the all-wheel drive system and i actually have a dedicated video explaining this all-wheel drive system it’s really cool it’s worthy of its own video so i’d recommend checking that out but the short story is that it allows you to change the torque distribution front to rear you can have from 60 up front 40 to

The rear you can then put in track mode have a 50 50 split or you can put it in rear mode and have 70 percent go to the rear and only 30 going to the front tires make it really lively for a nice back road experience again if you’re curious how that works i’d recommend checking out my video explaining that in great detail now from our all-wheel drive system we get

To the differentials and so with the core grade you’re going to get an open differential up front and an open differential in the back with the circuit and with the moriso you get torson limited slip diffs front and back now you can choose the performance package in the core so that you can still get uh lsds so i really like that they offer that as an option all

The cars i’ve driven today have had the lsds and they’ve been really fun on the track as far as the suspension we’ve got mcpherson strut up front we’ve got double wishbone in the back and there is a little bit of a stiffness to it though on the track honestly i really didn’t notice it i felt it felt really compliant on the track uh and you know here out on these

Roads i can actually experience uh you know how it feels going over bumps and things and honestly it’s a pretty comfy thing overall i wouldn’t say it’s too stiff so as we go out from the diffs to the brakes we’ve got good size brakes all around uh the thing has plenty of brake i didn’t experience any issues with that on the track and they’ve got good tire options

For it as well so you’ve got the ps4 uh with the core and circuit and then on the moriso they have cup twos and man there is so much grip on those cup too so the moriso is also lighter it’s about 100 pounds lighter so you really feel you know the car is lighter and it has more grip you really feel that out on the track this thing’s about 3 300 pounds and honestly i

Wish it was a little lighter but it’s still a very playful thing that’s what i’ve kind of been surprised by i didn’t expect to like this car as much as i have based on the weight and based on having a small high boost turbo engine and yet out on the track it’s really enjoyable how smooth everything kind of works together and how it is still this very playful device

Even though you know on paper to me it sounded a little bit too heavy and a little bit too much boost where i thought you know turbo lag was going to be too much of an issue so the grip is good even with the ps4s you can get a nice slide in and it’s very controllable yes it does understeer at the limit and i didn’t really have the opportunity to you know get it

Super sideways i’m not that good at driving as far as drifting is concerned anyways uh but the car pushes at the limit it does have a bit of understeer though again i found it super playful and very well controlled and that’s what’s more important to me um rather than you know like just define is it understeer oversteer it’s understeer but it’s playful and it’s

Predictable and so it’s it’s pretty good and as you get onto that break you can really help the rotation out um when it’s under steering and help you know have it corner back in by tapping on that brake getting some weight transfer to the front all right let’s just go through these little corners here with a little bit of speed yeah it’s just a fun little playful

Thing all right let’s get a little traction control off and get a nice little latch here all right first gear chirps all four i like that and we’re off there’s 60. so 60 and third i probably shifted a little early in second but good acceleration and look at that all-wheel drive and it’s chirping all the tires so on the driving experience the first thing they

Had us do out here was drive on the track and the first word out of my mouth was butter butter because the thing is just super smooth i mean how it connects everything out on the track tracks usually show you like hey what are the flaws and you can kind of get an accelerated idea for you know what the thing is like and where the flaws exist and does it understeer

Yes it has some understeer but it connects everything together so well the gear ratios are right the steering feels good and it all as you know you’re sweeping through these corners and transitioning from one side to the other it all connects shifting through the gears connects it’s all a very smooth process and it feels super refined which has surprised me a lot

I mean this is in the category of like budget hot hatchback and i use quotes because it’s still a little pricey uh but you know it’s it’s competing against golf r honda civic type r uh subaru sti and my first new car that i bought was a 2014 subaru sti hatch and that thing is a handful i mean it’s it’s it has so much turbo lag it has no power beneath you know 3

500 rpm it’s a it’s a rough around the edges car it’s kind of brutal you thrash it when you drive it hard and it’s fun in that way you know it’s a raw experience but it isn’t all that refined and this is very refined i wouldn’t say it’s like a volkswagen like a volkswagen they’re perfectly smooth and perfectly refined but you really don’t feel anything in this you

Still feel things but it all comes together really nicely and so it’s it’s somewhere in between that you know sti and and the volkswagen golf r and leaning towards that goal far side where it’s just a really cohesive experience of like everything meshes together and i’ve been surprised by that i really didn’t think it was going to be as good and i really didn’t

Think i was going to like it as much as i do just having some fun through the corners here okay a few final comments before you enjoy watching another jason smash my head against the car first off i’m stoked to say that this car doesn’t at all feel like a cash grab in the way that the super does yes yes i can already hear your response you should just be happy the

Supra exists you say but should i why shouldn’t i challenge toyota to be better this this is better this shows what toyota is capable of when you drive the corolla you can feel that it’s a passion project that someone at toyota said let’s make something fun so they did it and they did it right the gr corolla fits in the super rare category of cars that the amount it

Makes you smile far outpaces the price tag you’ll hardly ever see me smile in track footage it simply takes up too much brain power but in the corolla i couldn’t stop it was so easy to drive hard and so rewarding at the same time now i don’t want you to think i find the car flawless but there’s really only one big issue that stands out to me here in america we’re

Given the americanized version of fun it’s bigger it seats more and it’s more powerful than its sibling across the pond but with that size comes extra weight so even though it has more horsepower its power to weight ratio is really no different here in america we’re driving a bloated version of what could be an even more extraordinary driver’s machine i’m going to

Continue to be tremendously envious of the grs but it doesn’t prevent me from saying the gr corolla is exceptional it’s completely predictable to drive making you feel fully connected to the car and the fact that it’s so fun even with the extra weight is really a testament to the engineering that went into this all right enough praise here’s the car automatically

Contacting emergency services perhaps because of my big head or perhaps from kamisa’s driving either way it was jason’s fault it’s the uneven weight distribution because i weigh three times when you weigh three times three times well if you’re in pounds and i’m in kilos or something you’re trying to get something in your pocket i don’t know it thinks we had

An accident but this is gonna be a fun thank you okay we’re all good there’s no emergency thank you all right i’ll just connect if you have any questions in the future pressure thank you so much what did you do

Transcribed from video
Toyota GR Corolla – The Greatest Hot Hatch In America? By Engineering Explained