2023 Toyota Corolla facelift possibly previewed by GR Corolla hot hatch

The new Toyota GR Corolla hot hatch might have just provided our best look yet at an upcoming update for the standard Toyota Corolla hatch range, expected later this year.

The top-selling 2023 Toyota Corolla hatchback is rumoured to get its first major update in four years in the coming months – and the new GR Corolla hot hatch variant might’ve just given away what it will look like.

As reported in February, rumours out of Japan suggest Toyota will launch an updated Corolla hatch in its home market this October, with restyled headlights, tail-lights and front grille, plus a larger instrument cluster display, new exterior colours, and retuned safety systems.

Two months on, the recently-revealed GR Corolla might have provided our first look at what the changes will entail (imagined above), with the hot hatch pictured with revised light signatures, new infotainment software, and a fully-digital instrument display in official photos.

The front daytime-running lights adopt a ‘C’ shape, with a solid LED bar running around the outer edge of the headlight – replacing the dual ‘L’ shapes of the current Corolla – while the tail-lights have been revised, with trim deleted from inside the reverse lights, and a tweaked outer signature.

Inside, the GR Corolla features a new 12.3-inch TFT digital instrument cluster with GR graphics, the first of its kind in a Corolla hatchback.

While Toyota says this screen “was developed exclusively for GR models”, the same 12.3-inch panel rumoured to be fitted to other Toyota models in Japan in the coming years – and its fitment to the Corolla in future would fall in line with the aforementioned Japanese reports.

The GR Corolla also gains Toyota’s latest infotainment software, with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, over-the-air updates, an upgraded satellite navigation system, and a “Hey Toyota” voice assistant.

This system is already standard-fit across the Corolla range in Europe – running on a carry-over 8.0-inch touchscreen, though with only one physical dial for volume, deleting physical buttons – though it is yet to expand to the US, Japan or Australia.

Also fitted to the hot hatch is an expanded Toyota Safety Sense driver assistance suite, with autonomous emergency braking now with intersection support and capable of “detecting motorcyclists and guardrails in certain conditions”, plus improved lane assist systems. These upgrades align with the unspecified active safety updates claimed in the overseas report for the 2023 Corolla range.

A Toyota USA spokesperson reportedly confirmed to Motor Trend both the infotainment and safety upgrades will carry across to the standard Corolla range for Model Year 2023.

While Toyota is yet to confirm timing, the 2023 Toyota Corolla range will reportedly arrive in Japanese showrooms in October – placing it in the middle of the GR Corolla’s suggested “second half of 2022” timing for the Japanese market.

Australian GR Corolla deliveries are due to commence in the fourth quarter of 2022 (October to December). Given Toyota vehicle updates in Australia typically follow their Japanese counterparts by a few months, expect the rumoured 2023 Corolla facelift to arrive locally in the final months of 2022.

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