TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. is turning up the heat on its newest hot hatch.
A special Morizo edition of the recently unveiled all-wheel-drive GR Corolla will let you burn rubber just like Akio Toyoda, the Japanese carmaker’s president and “master driver.”
The GR Corolla Morizo Edition takes its name from Toyoda’s racetrack alias and packs dialed up torque, a slimmed down curb weight and an optimized gear ratio for souped-up performance.
Toyota unveiled the car Wednesday, just days before Toyoda himself climbs behind the wheel of a modified hydrogen-burning Corolla as “Morizo” in a 24-hour endurance race at Fuji Speedway.
Toyoda had a big hand in testing and vetting his new namesake gasoline edition, which will go on sale this winter in Japan and be available on U.S. dealer lots next year as a 2023 model.
The Morizo edition will be limited to a 200-unit production run in the first year. It will be made at the so-called GR Factory in Toyota’s Motomachi assembly plant, a boutique small-batch operation where select workers essentially hand-build performance cars.
The GR Corolla Morizo edition expands on the GR Corolla announced this spring and shares the same 300-hp 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine.
But Toyota bumped up torque to 295 pound-feet, from 273 pound-feet and took out nearly 100 pounds of weight — partly by removing the rear seats and rear wiper blade for a bit of extra racing cred.
A forged carbon fiber roof helps shed more mass.