The 2022 SEMA Auto Show is very much in full swing. The show is currently running from November 2nd to November 4th and this year is at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The show always showcases the very best in terms of the creative minds of various automotive manufacturers, with the likes of Ford, Toyota and Nissan all showcasing new cars and accessories for parts as well as some truly outlandish concepts as well.
As they have done for a while, Toyota is in full attendance at this show with all sorts of vehicles on offer from off-roaders to sports cars. Perhaps the true highlight from the Toyota lineup is the new GR Sports Car that was recently unveiled, admittedly though as a concept. Enter the new GR Corolla Rally Concept, based upon the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla that was of course revealed earlier in 2022. This takes the performance model of the Corolla and turn into a stunning looking rally machine, in a similar vain to how the Yaris looks in the World Rally Championship. This Toyota say is rocket fuel for those who love Toyota sports cars and rally performance.
One Of The Most Exciting Concepts On Show At SEMA 2022
The Toyota team started off creating the concept with the 2023 GR Corolla Circuit Edition, the even higher performance version of the GR Corolla. The inspiration did indeed come directly from the hybrid powered Toyota Gazoo Racing GR Yaris Rally1 car, that has swept the drivers and manufacturers titles in the WRC this year. The first task that the Toyota team got stuck into was making the already impressive looking GR Corolla look more impressive, with rally style bodywork.
What they did was create an aggressive wide body configuration for the Corolla. This amounted to massive three-inch fender flares, made up of 20-gauge steel as well as integrated carbon composite side skirts. There are huge openings in the front and rear fenders, which help to direct and exhaust dirty air from the wheel openings while the fenders themselves are aerodynamically designed to help create maximum downforce. Toyota has found yet more aero and downforce advantages, by the way of a carbon composite front splitter with a 4.5-inch overall length plus the massive carbon fiber rear wing at the back of the car.
Putting The Rally Spirit Into The GR Corolla
At the heart of the GR Corolla is a G16E-GTS 1.6-liter three-cylinder port injected 12-valve DOHC engine. It has a single-scroll ball-bearing turbocharger, and Toyota haven’t opted to uprate the engine any more than as standard. The engine does already produce 300 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, and the current crop of rally cars have around 500 hp at their disposal. So the GR Corolla is still a potent machine, but remember the current rally cars have extra power from the hybrid unit, unlike this Corolla Rally Concept.
Toyota has gone to town on the interior of the car too, making it much more function over form. Rallying is at the heart of the interior, with the rear seats modified to fit the roll cage and spare tire. OMP Racing seats and belts are inside the car, and the cage is a custom affair. OMP Racing have also provided the fire suppression system while we can also find a ZeroNoise rally intercom system inside the cabin. The GR Corolla Rally Concept also has a turning brake system, and the standard six-speed manual shifter is now relocated for better drive ergonomics.
Big Rally Tires And A Wider Than Stock Stance
For the best grip possible off-road, the Corolla features 17×8-inch OZ Racing wheels, with 215/60R17 Continental VikingContact 7 tires. The Corolla also features fully adjustable TEIN Gravel Rally coilovers that help to complete the package. The Toyota team decided to keep the GR Corolla’s braking setup, with its 14×1.1-inch ventilate and slotted rotors with the four-piston aluminum calipers. However, Wilwood turning brakes, in the form of a secondary set of real calipers, are now added to the car. This helps to provide better braking and turning control on a gravel rally terrain.
The Ultimate Toyota SEMA Concept
The whole concept is also capped off with a sensational Gazoo Racing inspired paint job, done by the legends that are Complete Customs in McKinney, Texas. This helps us to clearly imagine what the GR Corolla would look like were it to compete in the WRC. The GR Corolla Rally Concept is one of a dozen special vehicles that the Japanese manufacturer is displaying at the SEMA Auto Show, and the GR Corolla Rally Concept might well be the highlight of the bunch. It’s an outstanding looking car and provides a look into an alternate world where the Corolla rules the WRC.