The last time we heard of a CEO being directly involved in car development, it didn’t end well. Here we have another example of the big boss getting hands-on, although this time we’re unlikely to witness another executive scalping…
Yup, Toyota president Akio Toyoda—also known as the company’s ‘Master Driver’ under the pseudonym Morizo—was personally involved in testing the two-seat version of the GR Corolla you see atop this page.
Going on sale in Japan in extremely limited numbers later this year (there’ll be a reservation lottery just to get on the order books), the GR Corolla Morizo Edition is lighter, torquier and gripper than the standard car.
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Ditching the back seats has shaved 30kg off the total weight, although we suspect the saving was actually greater than that on account of the ‘structural adhesive’ and reinforced braces added to improve rigidity.
Peak torque climbs from 370Nm to 400Nm, with more punch in the middle of the rev range. Meanwhile, the ratios have been squeezed closer together, with first, second, and third geared shorter in the name of ‘improved dynamic performance.’
Cornering and braking have also improved, Toyota claims, having switched out the standard Yokohama tires for Pilot Sport Cup rubber. As before there’s a MacPherson strut and double wishbone suspension on the front and rear axles respectively, although both have been backed up with monotube shock absorbers.
Of course, Toyota hasn’t forgotten to add a few aesthetic touches: there’s trim on the doors, instrument panel, and various other bits inside finished in cast-black paint, with an Ultrasuede steering wheel and center console for ‘a touch of class.’ Toyota’s words, not ours.
The exterior is finished in Matte Steel, and you’ll notice the windscreen bears Morizo’s signature.
Shame that—just like the fully-seated GR Corolla—it’s not coming to the UK. Boo.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.
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