The GR Corolla which is expected to arrive in New Zealand in early 2023 with a Toyota driveaway price sticker of $74,990 on the windscreen will be sold through a series of ballots for the first 150 cars.

The GR Corolla sprang to life based on the strong desire of Toyota President Akio Toyoda to “bring back a Corolla that captivates our customers.”

Toyota New Zealand General Manager, Steve Prangnell, says the GR Corolla captures the spirit and legacy of Corolla’s racing heritage.

“While undoubtedly the Corolla is mainly known by Kiwi drivers as the supremely reliable and dependable hatch, sedan, and compact wagon, the Corolla has a heritage of competing and winning in both track and rally events.”

“By letting the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing engineers loose on the GR Corolla, we have produced that rare combination of a high-performance car that can be driven with confidence and enjoyment in a variety of situations and a daily driver with five seats, five doors and the complete Toyota Safety Sense package,” he says.

Toyota says prototypes were put through their paces not only on racing circuits but also on highly demanding dirt and snow-covered roads. Driving was done beyond the breaking point for comprehensive honing by drivers, who each have unique perspectives, including Morizo a.k.a Akio Toyoda, racing driver Hiroaki Ishiura, All Japan Rally Championship winner Norihiko Katsuta, and in-house evaluators.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla – Performance

GR Corolla sports a 221kW /370Nm 1.6L turbocharged engine with 21kW more power than the same engine in the GR Yaris, paired with a 6-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission. Showcasing its capabilities to put power to the ground, its GR-FOUR AWD system automatically distributes power from 50/50 split, up to 30/70 front and rear.

While adopting the basic body framework of the Toyota Corolla to enable it to inherit the high-speed stability of a long wheelbase, the GR Corolla employs wider track up front and, in the rear, to command a high level of cornering performance.

Steve says it’s exciting to see the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing brand filtering into our product as Toyota has rolled out six vehicles with GR treatment over the last few years.

“The addition of the GR Corolla shows how we can continue to offer a wide range of vehicles for all customer needs as we move Toyota’s overall model portfolio towards electrification,” he says.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla – Design

The GR Corolla is fitted with an aggressive front grille, flared fenders to accommodate a wide track, rear diffuser, and functional vents for enhancing aerodynamics and cooling.

Inside, a GR leather-trimmed steering wheel and unique gauge cluster remind the driver of the racing brand. The New Zealand GR Corolla pours on the details even further with a carbon-fibre roof, vented hood, matte-black 18-in. wheels and Brin-Naub® and synthetic leather-trimmed seats.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla – Handling

Toyota suggests that for whatever road you take, GR Corolla’s circuit-tuned suspension and Yokohama Advan Apex tires won’t let harsh road conditions rain on your parade. GR Corolla features a front and rear Torsen limited-slip differential for a better grip while upgraded performance brakes help dig into corners.

The GR Corolla will have the latest iteration of the Toyota Safety Sense package with a Pre-Collision System, Lane Tracing Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Automatic High Beam.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla – Toyota Driveaway Pricing

The Toyota Drive-away pricing includes all on road costs: WOF, registration, a full tank of fuel, the Toyota Care Service Advantage fixed price servicing package, floor mats, and a three year or 100,000 km warranty. The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla will be priced at $74,990 driveaway.

Knowing that demand for the GR Corolla will outstrip supply, Toyota New Zealand has decided to create a fair allocation by holding a ballot for the first 150 cars. Three ballots will be held in 2023 with 50 cars available in each ballot. 

The first ballot will start in early February. Toyota New Zealand says more details will come closer to the time.

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How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on www.usa2nz.co.nz. We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm a driving instructor and an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.

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