The GR Corolla Morizo Edition Is Hot Hatch Perfection

Special Editions / 12 Comments

It's here to kick the Honda Civic Type R to the kerb.

We first laid eyes on the upcoming GR Corolla at the New York Motor Show earlier this year, and it is a stunner.

The standard car will arrive with a 1.6-liter turbocharged three-pot producing 300 horsepower, which will be fed to a GR-tuned all-wheel-drive system via a six-speed intelligent manual transmission. If that sentence is enough to get you hot and bothered, wait until you hear about the Morizo Edition.

Unlike most of Toyota's special editions, the GR Corolla Morizo Edition adds several enhancements that elevate the driving experience beyond what the standard car can do. And the stock car can do quite a bit, as Formula Drift driver Ken Gushi recently demonstrated.

You can tell it apart on the outside thanks to functional vents, model-specific brake ducts, a flat underfloor, and a rear lip spoiler. The Morizo will only be available in Windchill Pearl and an all-new exclusive matte gray hue.

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The rally-bred GR Corolla is meant to offer the perfect balance between street and track. The Morizo leans more toward the track side of things. In fact, the car was named for Toyota's president, Akio Toyoda. Because he's the boss and an avid racer, he gave the engineers a list of specifications he desired. These include tighter handling, a higher power-to-weight ratio, and a highly rigid body.

Thankfully, some of us will get to share Toyoda's driving experience. Only 200 will be built, all of which will be produced for the 2023 model year.

The Morizo Edition turbocharged three-pot produces 300 hp, but the torque has been bumped from 273 lb-ft to 295 lb-ft. The peak torque is available between 3,250 rpm and 4,600 rpm. That's quite a narrow band, but it doesn't matter.

As standard, the Morizo is equipped with an exclusive close-ratio intelligent manual transmission and shorter differential gears. It will likely be slower at the top-end, but the acceleration times will be improved.

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GR engineers also removed 100 pounds compared to the Circuit Edition model. Toyota estimates the curb weight is 3,186 lbs.

The engineers saved weight by removing the rear seats and fitting a forged carbon fiber roof and forged wheels. Because the Morizo had no rear seats, Toyota also removed the rear speakers and window regulators. The diet was so extreme that Toyota even got rid of the rear wiper blade and the motor that drives it.

Toyota includes red-painted monotube shock absorbers, a unique suspension tune, two additional floor braces, and one extra strut brace in the rear to improve handling. The frame also has 349 additional spot welds. As standard, the Morizo is equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires on 18-inch matte black alloy wheels.

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On the inside, it has model-specific red and black Ultrasuede and leather seats with firmer, higher bolsters and harness holes. The steering wheel is also wrapped in Ultrasuede and comes standard with a red sightline.

As mentioned earlier, there are no rear seats. Instead, you get two braces for additional structural support. According to Toyota, there's enough room back there for four tires.

To keep it semi-sane, the Morizo retains the 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system found in lesser models and Toyota's Safety Sense 3.0.

The Morizo's price will be announced later this year, and it will be available at Toyota dealerships in 2023.

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