Toyota with a new GR version

The GR Yaris gets a big sister in the GR Corolla, and this time it’s about over 300bhp. The brake on the party is that it is unlikely that he will come to Europe.

In January 1973, the very first WRC race in history took place. It was of course the Monte Carlo Rally, and the Alpine A110 was ravaging the competition.

The car took all three podium places and Frenchman Jean-Claude Andruet made history as the first-ever WRC winner.

The second round of the World Cup was a snow rally in Sweden, and funny enough, Stig Blomqvist went driving a Saab 96 V4 to the top. Rallycross ace Per Eklund finished second in a similar car.

The season included 13 World Cup rounds, and the 11th was in the United States. And there Canadian Walter Boyce appeared in a privately owned Corolla 1600 Coupe, and he was no meaner than he parked what were competitors on Michigan roads.

It was the very first time a Toyota had won the WRC, and the Toyota Team Europe (TTE) created the year before gained even more momentum.

The team’s first WRC season that was the forerunner of today’s Toyota Gazoo Racing was in 1975, and it was still the Corolla. The team’s first-ever victory came in Finland, where Hannu Mikkola took one of his seven 1000 Lakes Rally victories that year.

Today, Toyota uses the Yaris as the basis for its WRC cars, but of course hasn’t forgotten what the Corolla stood for.

So they’re not just content with a GR Yaris which brings the tram one step closer to the rally car, because now they’re also hammering with a GR Corolla.

The keywords are wider, lower, triple tailpipes, an intelligent four-wheel-drive system and even more power. It’s still the same 1.6-liter turbo engine that powers the GR Yaris, but now it’s a bit hotter.

For Toyota engineers diverted all 304bhp and 370Nm from that, and hooked it up to a 6-speed manual iMT and FR-Four 4WD system.

This set should probably provide both grip and acceleration worthy of a real rally car.

If one adds goodwill, one will also find a Norwegian hook for the Toyota GR Corolla.

Toyota showed it for the very first time at the Formula D season opener. So what is it?

Yes, that stands for Formula Drift, and it’s the American gossip championship. The defending champion is called Fredric Aasbø, known among others from the Norwegian version of Top Gear.

Aasbø won the championship last year in a purpose-built Toyota Supra, and the stunt driver is also driving a GR Supra this season. The skier reached the semi-finals in the first round of this year, which took place in Long Beach over the weekend. We will therefore be counting on him to be at the top this season as well.

And it may be the closest Norway to get a GR Corolla, because so far it doesn’t look like Toyota has any plans to send it to Europe.

The car pictured below is the North American version, and Toyota also says there will be a Japanese version later this year.

And that’s all.

So Norwegians might have to make do with a GR Yaris, GR Supra or GR 86, and there should be pretty good alternatives.

Here are photos of the very latest that takes the 1973 rally car legacy into the future, a Toyota GR Corolla.

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Alec Dittman

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