- Morizo Edition adds torque and drops weight on sporty GR Corolla
- Only 200 examples will be made for 2023
- Track-oriented version named after, and tuned by, Akio Toyoda himself
When the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla was announced, there was a lot for enthusiasts to celebrate, such as all-wheel drive, a manual transmission, and 300 horsepower from a rowdy turbocharged three-cylinder engine. Well, Toyota just confirmed the details about a race-oriented new model called the Morizo Edition.
Compared to the regular GR Corolla, it has more power, less weight, a stiffened body structure and special styling details. Toyota has not yet said officially when the Morizo Edition will come out, or how much it will cost. But here's what we do know so far.
When it comes to making a fast car even faster, there is a traditional formula that works wonders: Drop weight and add power. Toyota chose both when it developed the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Morizo Edition. The focused Morizo trim comes with 300 hp like the base Core trim and the Circuit Edition, but with 295 lb-ft of torque, 22 more lb-ft than the standard GR Corolla. Then, the engineers on the Gazoo Racing (GR) team removed nearly 100 pounds versus the already focused Circuit Edition, for a curb weight of 3,186 pounds. How did they drop that much weight? Well, for starters they removed the rear seat. And the rear door speakers. And rear window regulators.
They even fitted a roof made of carbon fiber to shave more weight and reduce the car's center of gravity. Typically, a carbon fiber roof is something reserved for a performance coupe like a BMW M4, not a workaday Toyota. This is one track-focused machine.
Then, the GR team turned to the body and suspension, adding more structural adhesive throughout, as well as more spot welds to further stiffen the chassis. Toyota also added a pair of rear strut braces and retuned the springs and dampers. And check this out: The Morizo Edition features a pair of Torsen limited-slip differentials for the front and rear axles, letting the GR Corolla send its power side to side as needed for maximum grip and performance.
Though not unique to the Morizo Edition, the all-wheel-drive system features selectable front-to-rear torque distribution, which lets drivers send 40%, 50% or 70% of their power to the rear axle. Pair that with the Morizo Edition's Torsen differentials and you have a recipe for fun, and quicker lap times.
When it comes to making a car faster, especially when you're only going to make 200 of them, Toyota didn't skimp when making the GR Corolla Morizo Edition look the part. There's more — completely functional — ducting in the wild body kit, which can be finished in Windchill Pearl or a Morizo-exclusive matte gray exterior paint. The car also gets 18-inch forged alloy wheels in a Morizo-exclusive matte black, shod in sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.
Inside the cabin are unique red-and-black Ultrasuede and leather seats — with holes for mounting a racing harness — and an Ultrasuede steering wheel with plenty of red accents. Though the rear seat disappeared for the sake of saving weight, Toyota does note that you'll have enough room to fit four extra tires for a track day in the back despite the structural bracing. When President Akio Toyoda set out to build a car he was proud to put his name on, he meant it.
If you're a Toyota fan, then this may be old news to you, but the name Morizo has a bit of a backstory. Back in 2007, Akio Toyoda (then vice president of Toyota, now the president) wanted to branch out into more racing and to use the endeavor to hone the development of the automaker's cars. The effort wasn't officially approved by the company at the time, so a number of employees, including Akio Toyoda himself, went racing at the famous 24 Hours of Nürburgring endurance race.
Toyoda had received some criticism for the move, with some believing it was too dangerous for someone in his position. He decided to race under the name Morizo, kicking off an interesting era in which his true identity was neither confirmed nor denied by Toyota's media relations team.
The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Morizo Edition was tested extensively at a number of Japanese racetracks, as well as rally courses in snow and dirt. In addition to a team of professional drivers and experts, Toyoda himself spent time behind the wheel making sure it was worthy to not only wear the GR name but the same pseudonym used by Toyoda, not only the president but GR master driver.
This limited edition of Toyota's newest hot hatch has all the right stuff and promises an exciting and exclusive experience.