Maybe we can ask nicely for the upgraded tune for the GR Corolla here in the US?
Toyota has announced that the GR Yaris, the little brother to the US-bound GR Corolla, will be headed to the brand's Kinto Factory lineup. Usually, that would be pretty dull news until you learn that "Kinto Factory" means factory tuning upgrades from Toyota itself. Thanks to this latest upgrade, GR Yaris owners are getting a boost in torque of 15 lb-ft - direct from the OEM, which means the warranty remains unaffected.
Previously, this torque level was available only to owners of the GR Yaris Morizo - the hot-footed version of the hatch specifically requested by Toyota's President, Akio Toyoda. Fun fact, Morizo is the pseudonym Toyoda used to go racing under to remain anonymous in the motorsport scene.
Thanks to the new "GR Yaris Performance Software 2.0" tune, torque rises from 273 lb-ft to 288 lb-ft. Toyota quickly pointed out that it's not all about the jump in numbers. Instead, the new software will also improve the car's torque curve as well. This fits in with previous reports that the brand would continually hone the GR Yaris and improve it through its own racing exploits in the car.
Max torque on the Yaris falls between 3,200 and 4,000 rpm, which Toyota says is best for "providing strain-free and relaxed acceleration" and the upgrade costs the equivalent of $1,033.
Beyond the torque upgrade, the Kinto Factory option will allow drivers to tailor their cars to their own personal tastes. we're not talking about programmable drive modes - as the Yaris doesn't really have those - but rather details like throttle mapping, steering assist settings, and the distribution of torque by the 4WD system.
You can either choose from 27 preset combinations - at a fee equivalent to $65 - or you can spend time driving on a designated course, after which Toyota engineers will evaluate your driving style to help find the right setting for you. The latter costs a paltry $110. Trained GR consultants will install your new tune at designated GR Garage locations in Japan and walk owners through the myriad of personalization options available.
While power bumps are not unheard of from one year to the next, it's rare that a manufacturer would make such a package available to owners of a car after they've purchased it.
The question is whether the USDM GR Corolla might get such an upgrade as well.
Both the GR Corolla and GR Yaris use the same engine, but in the case of the GR Corolla, it already has higher outputs of 300 horsepower and 273 lb-ft. The Corolla's Morizo Edition even features several similar perks that the tune discussed above does, including better throttle response and increased torque. However, the car is also much more hard-edged, with no back seats, among other track-focused changes.
The GR Corolla Morizo will be available in limited numbers here, but the Base and Core versions will be more readily available. Could we see Toyota offering a similar tuning option for those down the line? We certainly hope so.
Toyota's commitment to continually developing its performance cars after they leave the showroom is admirable.