2023 Toyota GR Corolla to get less power in Australia

Toyota’s next hot hatch will have less power in Australia – compared to overseas models – when it arrives later this year. But Toyota says the horsepower deficit won’t affect performance times.

Tea 2023 Toyota GR Corolla hot hatch will be less powerful in Australia than the rest of the world when it arrives in local showrooms towards the end of this year.

Keen-eyed readers and media first noticed a discrepancy in the information published by Toyota during the GR Corolla’s global reveal last week.

The Australian press release quoted 220kWbut Japanese and US media releases both listed 224kW (or 304 metric horsepower).

Toyota Australia has now confirmed the difference extends beyond numbers in a press release, and in fact the GR Corolla will be given “market-specific tuning” for local showrooms – placing our cars 4kW behind their overseas peers, at 220kW.

A reason for the mild drop in power has not been given. A company spokesperson told Drive: “More details will be given closer to the launch.”

While the engine has been detuned by 4kW – and zero Nm, with local and overseas cars both claiming 370Nm torque outputs – the difference is unlikely to have a measurable effect on performance, sliding the power-to-weight ratio by less than 3kW per ton .

The detune has come as a surprise to Toyota fans, as Australia received the full-strength 200kW/370Nm engine tune of the smaller GR Yaris in 2020 – rather than the 192kW/360Nm tune offered in Europe, where strict emissions regulations apply.

However, while new to Toyota, engine tunes specific to Australia in the hot hatch segment are not new – specifically due to Australia’s fuel quality, which is high in sulfur compared to petrol sold elsewhere, reducing its compatibility with the latest petrol engines.

Most notably, Australia’s long-time designation as a “hot climate” market within the Volkswagen Group has seen numerous performance Volkswagen and Audi products detuned over the past decade, including the VW Golf R and Audi S3 – but this restriction is no longer in place with the brand’s latest models.

Examples of the just-discontinued Honda Civic Type R were also 7kW down on European and Japanese models, in order to support 95 RON premium fuel – rather than the 98 or near-100 RON fuel offered in other regions.

Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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