Toyota unveiled its turbocharged and all-wheel drive 2023 GR Corolla this past spring, expanding its Toyota Gazoo Racing performance model lineup and rewarding enthusiasts with this rowdy, rally inspired, 300-horsepower hot hatch. Today, Toyota proudly announces the GR Corolla is the official pace car for the 2022 National Auto Sport Association National Championships.
The GR Corolla rolls into WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey County, Calif. for the 2022 NASA National Championships, the organization’s marquee event. This year, NASA race drivers from 14 regions across the country compete for the top prize on one of the nation’s most legendary road racing circuits. The Championships take place Sept. 15-18, 2022, and the GR Corolla will be the pace car for all races, including Sunday’s winner-take-all NASA championship finals.
“Last year we were honored to pace all NASA Championship races at Daytona with the all-new GR86, and it’s great to be back, this time with the first-ever GR Corolla,” said Michael Tripp, Toyota’s vice president of marketing. “This is such a great event and a perfect way to give fans and NASA competitors a chance to check out the GR Corolla in its natural environment – on the track.”
In its pace car role, the GR Corolla will wear red, white, and black graphics inspired by now familiar and winning Toyota motorsports and endurance racing liveries. The 2023 GR Corolla will set the pace and lead some 350 entrants racing in more than 25 classes on the iconic circuit overlooking California’s Monterey Bay. WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca’s 11-turn, 2.238-mile natural-terrain circuit features a mix of tight corners, sweepers, and elevation changes, particularly in the famous Corkscrew – officially Turns 8 and 8A – where the elevation drops a dizzying 59 feet, the equivalent of a five-and-a-half story building, in only 450 feet of track length.
As part of a continuing program put together by Toyota and NASA, every customer who buys a new 2023 Toyota GR Corolla will automatically receive a complimentary one-year NASA membership and one complimentary track day at a NASA High Performance Driving Event. This program started in 2019, as a way to give GR Supra owners performance driving experiences under the tutelage of expert NASA instructors. The program has expanded to include all GR sports cars with the GR86 and the GR Corolla joining their GR Supra stablemate.
The 2023 GR Corolla features a turbocharged, three-cylinder engine delivering 300 hp and 273 lb.-ft. of torque. This remarkable 1.6-liter engine is mated to Toyota’s rally developed GR-Four All-Wheel-Drive drivetrain. The GR-Four system gives drivers a choice of 60-40, 50-50 or 30-70 power distribution to the front and rear wheels.
Available exclusively with a manual gearbox to stay true to its rally-racing roots, the GR Corolla will be available in three grades, the performance ready GR Corolla Core Grade, the launch-year-only Circuit Edition. and the ultra-aggressive GR Corolla MORIZO Edition. The track-oriented GR Corolla Morizo is limited to 200 units for 2023 and benefits from special enhancements specified by Akio Toyoda himself. GR engineers added an exclusive close ratio intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT) and shorter gearing, increased chassis rigidity and raised torque to 295 lb.-ft. It is nearly 100 pounds lighter than the GR Corolla Circuit Edition model, further sharpening the handling of this already nimble hot hatch. Full GR Corolla media materials on all grades are available here.
“It’s great to continue our relationship with Toyota, and it’s very exciting to have the GR Corolla as the official 2022 NASA Championships pace car,” said NASA Chief Operating Officer and Vice President Jeremy Croiset. “And in addition to the many who will see it on the track, fans can also tune in online and see the very best amateur racing in the country from the comfort of home.”