The largest car manufacturer in the world is expanding the model name Corolla into an international extended family. And everyone knows: in every family there is this competitive athlete who is always late for coffee and dinner because it was so much fun with the boys outside and a few personal bests still had to be set. The Toyota GR Corolla is just one of those, whose fender cheeks inflate even tighter than the sportiest of all Yaris models. But not only the chubby cheeks of the particularly cool Circuit Edition are a real show on the road - the carbon roof, the martial front and the rear apron with three fanfares also hit the drum in a way you would not expect from Toyota.
While the GR Corolla's triple exhaust pipe makes a roaring sound, the engine looks completely different. The 1.6 liter turbo unit cannot deny that it only gets its lavish performance from three combustion chambers. The slightly rattling triad of chatter is and remains a matter of taste, even with such an overpowering exhaust staccato. This does not apply to the chassis tuning, which is more magnificent than ever. The almost 1.5 ton all-wheel drive sticks to the road that it is just pure bliss. The Sport Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires in the 235 / 40 R 18 format interlock as shamelessly with the surface as an intimate embrace that should never end again. The feedback from the pleasantly stiff steering is excellent and, depending on the power distribution, not even the drive forces, which inevitably bring the 370 Nm maximum torque at 3,000 rpm, are a problem even when cornering at high speed.
From a standing start, the robust six-speed manual transmission accelerates to 100 km/h in just over six seconds. Unfortunately, the $44,420 Toyota GR Corolla is also limited to 230 km/h in the sharpened Circuit Edition. Doesn't matter much, because the stately 4.40 meter long bouillon cube is more fun to Japan when taking hot curves anyway. So that the pilot has everything under control, the joker is equipped with very well-contoured sports seats and sports pedals. The leather steering wheel would feel even more grippy with an Alcantara cover when things get hotter, but the leather upholstery can also please. The digital instrument unit is a bit overloaded, but you quickly get used to the flood of information. This also applies to the eight-inch touchscreen in the center of the dashboard, which can be used to control the navigation, sound system and vehicle functions. Impressive for such a sporty compact model: in addition to various safety systems, there are ten airbags on board alone. A market launch in Germany is at least once in the stars. But the GR Yaris finally made it.