Thailand unsurprisingly pips other countries to be the first to launch the Toyota GR Corolla in the ASEAN region, but in very limited numbers: only 9 units of the all-wheel drive (AWD), 300 PS/370 Nm hot hatch are allocated for the country for now.
Also to no one’s surprise, it’s not cheap. Announced at the ongoing 39th Thailand International Motor Expo, prices for the GR Corolla in Thailand starts from 3,949,000 THB (circa RM 497k); fully-imported from Japan of course.
We love some bulging arches
Only 4 percent is the price difference between this and the 2023 Honda Civic Type R (FL5) there (estimated THB 3.8 million, circa RM 479k). Good deal or the Thai equivalent of “baik beli…?”
Paired to its 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine (G16E-GTS) – plucked from the GR Yaris, but makes more power here – is a 6-speed manual transmission, and that’s the only gearbox buyers are going to get for now.
Underneath the satisfyingly thick arches lies an almost-bespoke drivetrain that benefits from Toyota’s rally-derived GR-Four AWD system which can split power from 50/50 front:rear to 30/70. A Torsen limited-slip differential (LSD) on each axle adds to its corner-carving résumé.
Forged carbon roof, Japan-spec model
Enhancements see the GR Corolla get the GR brand’s gaping grille up front, a ventilated hood, triple-exit exhaust, 18-inch wheels, as well as a carbon-fibre roof.
Corolla RZ, as sold in Japan
The interior majorly looks like a regular Corolla, if differentiated by the regular handbrake, and it should get a 12.3-inch full-LCD digital instrument cluster as its Japanese counterparts do.
USA-market model shown; there’s the fancy new digital gauge
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity stays on through its 7-inch infotainment touchscreen, adding to the host of other GR-specific cabin touches that include unique upholstery on the bespoke steering wheel and seats.
Perhaps Malaysia will be next? It’s an open secret that the Toyota GR Corolla is set to launch in Malaysia sometime in the first quarter of 2023. Prices are yet to be confirmed, but the Mk8 Volkswagen Golf R’s RM 356,412 price serves as a reasonable benchmark.
Keyword: Only 9 units available: 300 PS Toyota GR Corolla marks ASEAN debut in Thailand, price equals to RM 497k