The Toyota GR Corolla is a miracle. A turbocharged, all-wheel-drive hot hatch from Toyota with an honest-to-god manual gearbox and available limited-slip diffs front and rear. In an age of shareholder demands and electrified everything, it probably shouldn’t have been made, but it’s real. Straight out the gate, I knew it was going to be a tuner car darling, and now legendary Toyota shop Tom’s has unveiled a WRC-inspired tuning package for it. Needless to say, it looks wild.
First, a little bit of history. Tom’s Racing has a rich and incredible history of tuning and racing Toyota cars. In fact, the whole business started out in 1974 when Toyota factory driver Nobuhide Tachi and engineer Kiyoshi Oiwa decided to go full send in the world of motorsports.
Since then, Tom’s has been part of Toyota’s official Group C racing efforts, become Japanese Grand Touring Car champions, and cranked out some of the hottest Toyota street cars from Soarers to Corollas. It’s a whole lot more than your average tuning company because it has some serious pedigree behind it.
Right off the bat, the Tom’s TK GR Corolla looks properly rowdy. It gets a new front bumper with a massive squared-off grille, and more flics, spoilers, and canards than your average time attack car. Is any of this stuff functional? Allegedly so. Tom’s claims that the revised front bumper improves cooling efficiency, while the canards and other aero tweaks add downforce. Without any firm numbers to back these claims up, all I can say for sure is that this package should appease Civic Type R owners who think the latest version of Honda’s hyper-hatch looks a bit too tame.
Speaking of untamed appearances, the Tom’s exhaust system looks properly ridiculous. With five exhaust tips on deck, that roughly amounts to 1.66 exhaust tips per cylinder. Why? Because why not. Apparently, it improves exhaust efficiency, and it has the side effect of coming across all Max Power to me.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this package is the WRC connection. Toyota GR WRC driver Takamoto Katsuta wanted to bring some rally car looks on the GR Corolla, and turned to Tom’s since he drove for the tuner in his Formula 3 days. The driver has already collaborated with the tuner on an appearance package for the GR Yaris, so it only makes sense to do it again for the GR Corolla.
While Tom’s has only unveiled body and exhaust parts so far, I wouldn’t be surprised if more GR Corolla bits are in the works. The tuner’s GR Yaris catalog includes a coilover suspension kit, ECU tuning, stiffening braces, and several other go-fast goodies, so don’t be surprised if some of those items start showing up for the GR Corolla. While the Tom’s TK GR Corolla kit isn’t to everyone’s tastes, it’s quite cool to see legendary tuners get their hands on the GR Corolla.
Pre-orders open on Mar. 1, with delivery expected this autumn. Let the wrenching commence.
(Photo credits: Tom’s Racing)
Support our mission of championing car culture by becoming an Official Autopian Member.