The Toyota GR Sport offence continues with the availability of the sporty variant in the Toyota Corolla Cross line-up in Thailand. Unlike the variant that made its debut in Taiwan, the Toyota Corolla Cross GR Sport is only available with the 1.8-litre hybrid system.
Since its introduction of the line-up in 2017, the product enhancement by Toyota GR company under the GR Sport label is quite consistent across all models- exterior colours of white, black and red, sportier bumper designs, black interior and GR emblems. If possible, the coil springs and dampers get stiffened together with a new rim design.
In Thailand, the Corolla Cross GR Sport is the fourth Toyota GR Sport model, after the Toyota Fortuner and Hilux models. Due to the success of the Toyota Corolla Altis sedan at the Nurburgring endurance race, it has its celebratory model on top of the GR Sport variant!
On the exterior, the Toyota Corolla Cross GR Sport gets a unique front bumper, with a sportier black-painted two-tier grille opening, mesh pattern and repositioned fog light. At the rear, the red taillamps now adopt a smoked lens finishing, a sporty-looking upgrade but not as cool as the all-new Honda HR-V RS e:HEV that spans the full width of the tailgate.
The wheel size is still 18 inches and wrapped with 225/50R18 tyres, but the rim design looks to be taken from the European Toyota Corolla GR Sport. The coil springs and shock absorbers ratings have been adjusted to deliver less body roll, better body control as well as a sportier ride without sacrificing comfort levels.
Unpainted wheel arches, as well as silver-finished lower ‘underguards’, are kept to instil the SUV image, unlike the hot-hatch-look on the Hyundai Kona N Line. Apart from White Pearl with black upper half, which is also the most expensive in the range, customers can also select the Red Mica-black two-tone combination or completely black.
Toyota Motor Thailand is only offering the Corollas Cross GR Sport with the 1.8-litre hybrid powertrain as that is what the market wants. The company said since the model’s launch in the middle of 2020, 85% of sales of the Corolla Cross are hybrid models, even though the regular 1.8-litre engine variant is priced the lowest at under 1 million Thai Baht.
No changes have been made to the self-charging hybrid powertrain that continues to deliver 122 hp and return fuel consumption of 4.3 litres per 100 km under the older NEDC / R101 test cycle.
Inside, the Toyota Corolla Cross GR Sport gets the GR treatment of the brand emblem being stuck on the front headrests, floor carpets and start-stop button. The dashboard trim has been replaced with piano black finishing and silver stitching used on the steering wheel and leather seat.
Similar to the update for the soon-to-be-available locally-assembled Corolla Cross 1.8 models, the GR Sport model also gets the all-speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) which slows the vehicle to a complete stop, then increase back to the preset speed level when conditions allow.
Pricing wise, the Toyota Corolla Cross GR Sport starts from THB1,249,000 (approx. RM155.8k) for models in all-black, or a THB50,000 premium over the Corolla Cross Safety Package, non-GR Sport variant.
The two-tone Red Mica-black paintwork is an additional THB10,000 more, while the White Pearl-black topping the Corolla Cross range in Thailand is priced at THB1,264,000.