Here’s what makes the Toyota GR Corolla’s engine unique

Since its launch last week, we’ve been pestering the friendly folks at Toyota’s PR department for more information on the GR Corolla. The automaker plans to release a lot more technical information on the all-wheel-drive hot hatch closer to its launch this fall, but we managed to get a few details on its 1.6-liter three-cylinder.

With 257 hp in the GR Yaris, this engine, the G16E-GTS, was already the most powerful three-cylinder in production. (The Koenigsegg Gemera promises a three-cylinder that produces 600 hp on alcohol, although the car is not yet in production.) For the GR Corolla, Toyota wanted more power to offset the extra weight compared to the Yaris, so that made some detail changes, bringing power up to 300 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque.


The pistons are made from a tougher material, though Toyota is keeping quiet about the exact alloy used, and the same goes for the exhaust valves. These exhaust valves are also larger, with stiffer valve springs. The ball-bearing turbocharger, integrated directly into the exhaust manifold, now provides 10% more boost. Top of the line reports that the GR Yaris turbo runs around 20.3 psi of boost, which means that in the GR Corolla the boost is set at around 22.33 psi. That’s a lot, so it’s a good thing that GR Corolla also has a larger capacity oil cooler. Increased boost pressure isn’t the only source of power increases, either. The GR Corolla’s center-mounted exhaust pipe helps reduce back pressure, which further increases horsepower.

toyota gr corolla engine


Don’t forget all the cool stuff the G16E gets in its two iterations, including oil-jet-cooled pistons, a partially machined intake port, and a fuel system with direct and port injection. The engine is also largely hand-built, like the rest of the Corolla GR, at Toyota’s Motomachi plant.

This engine is a technical marvel, one of the few on the market to offer 100 horsepower per cylinder, and its specific power of 187.5 hp/litre corresponds to that of a Bugatti Chiron. A true piece of automotive exoticism in the most humble homes.

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