2020 Toyota Corolla Altis GR Sport launched in Taiwan, improved handling but no power gains

Eric · Apr 30, 2020 04:35 PM

Toyota Corolla Altis

Hotai Motor, the official distributor of Toyota vehicles in Taiwan has just introduced the Corolla Altis GR Sport, available as a regular petrol or hybrid variant.

At a glance, the Taiwan market Corolla Altis GR Sport may look similar to the one we saw at the 36th Thailand International Motor Expo, but there are some differences.

Up front, the Taiwan model gets a unique front bumper, as its lower air intake is more pronounced than the Thailand market car. The front grille gets two slim chrome strips that connects the headlights to the Toyota emblem.

The Taiwan Corolla Altis GR Sport also gets 17-inch alloy wheels like the Thailand car, but with a different design. The 17-inch alloy wheels are wrapped in 224/45R17 Dunlop SP SportMaxx 050 tires.

Towards the rear end, the Taiwan market car gets a rear skirt with a diffuser-like design, as well as the GR Sport emblem on the lower right of the boot. Curiously, although marketed as a sportier Corolla Altis, the Taiwan model does not get a rear spoiler.

Putting aside the visual changes, what truly separates the Taiwan model from the one we saw in Thailand is in the handling department, as engineers from Toyota Taiwan have worked closely with the Gazoo Racing team to develop the suspension setup.

As a result, the Corolla Altis GR Sport gets stiffer front and rear shock absorbers, as well as thicker front and rear anti-roll bars, reducing the Corolla Altis’ body roll in corners.

Inside, the Corolla Altis GR Sport gets a good dose of red stitching on the seats, dashboard, shift lever, and steering wheel. Steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters are only available on the petrol variant.

Despite the handling improvements, the Corolla Altis GR Sport’s powertrain remains unchanged. The petrol variant features a 1.8-litre 2ZR-FE 4-cylinder petrol engine that does 140 PS and 172 Nm, mated to a CVT-type automatic, while the hybrid variant gets a 1.8-litre 2ZR-FXE petrol-electric powertrain that does a combined system output of 122 PS.

In terms of positioning, the petrol variant of the Corolla Altis GR Sport is the range-topping variant, while the hybrid variant is positioned one level below the flagship hybrid variant.

Prices start from TWD 828,000 (~RM 120,077) for the petrol variant, while the hybrid variant costs TWD 875,000 (~RM 126,706). Keep in mind that the prices you see here aren't applicable to the Malaysian market, as the tax structure varies between countries.