Why is the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla the Spiritual Successor to the Ford Focus RS?

This hot cover right here within the states it has been a dying species for years. A number of years in the past, fanatics selected the litter. Honda Civic Type R, volkswagen golf r, Hyundai Veloster Nand ford focus RS. Now, solely two of the 4 stay, toyota He determined to offer folks what they needed. 2023 Toyota GR Corolla.

Of the recent hatchbacks talked about above, the Ford Focus RS and the brand new GR Corolla are arguably essentially the most related. Each are hatchbacks based mostly on reasonably priced finances vehicles; each are guide solely; each have turbocharged engines; each have AWD drivetrains; each have rally racing pedigrees. Nevertheless, their greatest distinguishing issue is that the Focus RS is now not in manufacturing. Whereas fanatics have been praising the Focus RS when it was new, Toyota gave us the GR Corolla and unwittingly picks up the place it left off.

Ford Focus RS Was A Scorching Rally Hatch For Ages

Ford Focus RS Front Quarter Drive Nitrous Blue

The Ford RS (which stands for Rallye-Sport) badge has been synonymous with sizzling hatchback gaming for many years. The pedigree of the Ford sizzling hatch that traces its lineage again to the Nineteen Eighties Ford starts with Sierra RS Cosworth. Manufactured from 1986 to 1992, Ford developed the Sierra RS Cosworth to compete within the Group A rally stage. After the Sierra RS ran and manufacturing shut down, Ford Dominant Escort RS Cosworth (1992-1996) each rally racing and fanatic hearts. Sadly for us neither Ford rally vehicles have been obtainable to us right here within the states, however Enthusiast-friendly import now due to 25-year import rule.

You’ll be able to’t describe the recognition and success of the Ford Focus RS with out mentioning its predecessors within the type of the Sierra RS Cosworth and Escort RS Cosworth. After ending their manufacturing and rally duties, the designers at Ford went again to the drafting board and revived the recent hatch emblem, this time with the Focus identify. Launched in 2003, the primary technology MK1 Focus RS had a 2.0L turbo-four engine producing 215 hp and 229 lb-ft of torque, which can not look like a lot, nevertheless it was greater than sufficient to compete with rivals from the Subaru Impreza and Mitsubishi. Lancer Evolution. The second-generation MK2 Focus RS took it a step additional with its 2.5L turbo-five producing 305 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque.

RELATED: A Look at the Evolution of the Ford Focus RS

After a profitable run for the primary two generations of the Focus RS, Ford determined to greenlight the third-generation MK3 Focus RS, however this time it drove it out of state. The MK3 Focus RS had a 2.3L Ecoboost turbo-four that produced 350 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. Whereas the primary two generations have been FWD, Ford modified it and steered these curious ponies. All four wheels using an AWD system developed by GKN. This AWD system featured torque vectoring that allowed drivers to ship a lot of the energy to the rear axle in what’s known as “Drift Mode”. This technique turned the Focus RS into a real rally automobile for the highway.

Toyota GR Corolla, North America’s Rally Comfort Award

Toyota GR Corolla and GR Yaris Split Image
through: Toyota

New 2023 Toyota GR Corolla, a long and storied past Because the Focus RS, it is nonetheless derived from rallying functions. The GR Corolla’s roots could be traced again to the Celica GT-FOUR, which earned Toyota two drivers’ and two constructors’ titles within the Group A World Rally Championship. After withdrawing from the WRC in 1999, Toyota turned to the rally beast within the Yaris economic system automobile and gained one other Builders, Drivers and Co-Drivers championship.

Continued success below WRC management Toyota and its racing division Gazoo Racing (GR)Growing a highway automobile particularly permitted to compete for extra championships. Enter the 2020 Toyota GR Yaris, an inexpensive economic system automobile reworked right into a rally beast, with a specifically designed 1.6L 3-cylinder engine and GR-FOUR AWD system. Sadly, the GR Yaris was by no means shipped to our shores, because the common Yaris isn’t produced right here within the states. That is the place the GR Corolla comes into play.

RELATED: These are the Key Differences Between Toyota GR Corolla and GR Yaris

The GR Corolla is almost an identical to the GR Yaris system and {hardware} within the physique of a Corolla Hatchback. Right here, the 1.6L turbo 3-banger delivers a whopping 300 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque (or 293 lb-ft in case you select the Morizo ​​version). The identical GR-FOUR AWD system is on the market on the GR Corolla, with a rogue torque steering system able to making entrance (60/40 entrance/rear), rear (30/70) or impartial (50/50) torque deflections. Does this sound acquainted?

Toyota GR Corolla Rally Hatch Realizes its Dream

2023-Toyota-GR-Corolla-Circuit-Edition Front
Photograph: Kareem Girgis

On this fashionable automotive period, sizzling hatchbacks are falling like flies, leaving fanatics wanting extra. The MK3 Focus RS lived a brief (2016-2018) however productive life and this has solidified it into the recent hatch Corridor Of Fame. Extra a observe and rally automobile than a avenue automobile, he stood other than the group as an boastful, unforgiving demon. Since its departure, there was a void for an icon that the brand new GR Corolla has greater than its capability to fill. Primarily based on an actual homologation rally automobile, the GR Corolla brings an identical persona to the driving expertise with welcome refinements.

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