Blue Flame Paint Option and BBS Wheels Usher In 2024 GR Corolla Circuit Edition

Photography: Sam Du / Mike Maravilla

  • After the GR Corolla Circuit Edition was said to be limited at launch, Toyota ramps up production for 2024 with 1,600 units.
  • Blue Flame was the flagship color on the standard Corolla hatchback and will now be available as an option on the GR Corolla, but only in Circuit Edition. 
  • Ice Cap white will be the other Circuit Edition color; Supersonic Red will remain available in Core trim and Heavy Metal grey will be discontinued altogether. 
  • Circuit Edition swaps wheels to the 18-inch forged BBS equipped on the 2023 GR Corolla Morizo Edition.
  • A graphics package, which includes a subtle black stripe is applied to the Circuit Edition’s side skirts.
  • Blue stitching/accents can be found on the seats, shift knob, shift boot, and e-brake handle tying in the new Blue Flame option.
  • Other cues of the Circuit Edition are unchanged such as the limited-slip differentials, forged carbon fiber roof, hood bulge, and rear spoiler.

The 1.6-liter 3-cylinder turbocharged, all-wheel-drive, manual-only GR Corolla launched in 2023 with three trim levels – Core, Circuit Edition and Morizo Edition. The Circuit Edition was limited to 1,500 units; however, Toyota has decided to bring it back for 2024, and here’s what you need to know…

WHAT’S UNIQUE ABOUT THE 2024 GR COROLLA CIRCUIT EDITION

Blue is Here, Grey is Gone. This isn’t the first time you’re seeing Blue Flame. It was the hero color when the Corolla Hatchback launched in 2019. Now it’ll be the face of the 2024 Circuit Edition along with Ice Cap white. Note: Supersonic Red will remain available on the Core model and the Heavy Metal grey will be removed altogether.

Yes, to BBS. This also isn’t the first time you’re seeing those 18-inch forged 10-spoke BBS wheels. The wheels are borrowed from the 2023 Morizo Edition and will now be standard on the Circuit.

Shades of Blue. Suede/synthetic leather seats feature blue stitching along with the shift boot and e-brake handle. The shift knob receives a cute blue stripe. If details matter to you as they do for me, I’m slightly bummed that the blue threads are more of a deep blue and don’t match the lighter hue of Blue Flame. I’m told the blue stitching will carry over to the Ice Cap Circuit Editions as well.

Stickers. The list of subtle changes is rounded out by a black stripe vinyl that runs along the side skirts up to the stamped GR-Four logo.

Exclusivity. 1,600 Circuit Edition models will be produced for the 2024 model year, a bump up of 100 units from this year, and will only be sold exclusively in the U.S. and Canada.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS – SAM

Out of the other two GR special edition models launched this week, the 2024 GR Corolla Circuit Edition in Blue Flame represents the least amount of change. Nonetheless, it looks pretty damn good. The light blue color on the standard Corolla Hatchback is a bit too much for my tastes, but when it has 300hp and 273 lb-ft to back it up, the loud paint feels more fitting. I don’t know about you but, I’m also getting vibes that bring me back to the Laguna Seca Blue from the BMW E46 M3…

Aside from the new paint option, the other updates are minimal. I still wish these special editions had some sort of badge or nameplate to differentiate them from the Core model. The BBS wheels are a nice bonus; however, I’m still not a fan of that forged carbon fiber roof. I hope that trend doesn’t stick… Is it still a trend by the way?

For a $7,000 surcharge, it’s been proven that people who want the GR Corolla are willing to pay for the Circuit Edition. For me, I’m still content with my new project car, an Ice Cap white Core model with an accompanying Performance Package (front and rear limited-slip differentials). I’ll save the rest of the money for parts…

FIRST IMPRESSIONS – MIKE

You’ll have to forgive me since the sub-compact genre has gone from our vernacular, but Toyota has done an amazing job of making “normal”, small-ish cars appealing.  And because of that, GR Corolla is a car that can really cast a wide net. Its practicality scores high marks for young families, while its potent powerplant keeps enthusiasts satiated — especially since the rally-bred GR Yaris can’t come stateside. The base Corolla, on which the GR is based, is a rather handsome piece of kit too.

The GR Corolla is still the new kid on the block, so it was a shock to see a special edition variant come through the pipeline so fast. With deliveries of 2023 Core, Circuit, and Morizo Edition models in full swing, it’s understandable that Toyota didn’t pack the 2024 model with a ton of new kit. The big change here is something that the vocal GR Corolla fanbase wanted from the jump: a shade of blue.

With a car as exuberant as the GR Corolla, a louder shade is certainly welcomed. I was a fan of Supersonic Red when it first came out, but when you can count the color options on one hand, it’s inevitable that you’ll miss appealing to a wider demographic.

Toyota’s other upgrades on the 2024 Circuit model are for keen eyes only, but likely because some 2023 models are still in production. The Circuit model looks the part already, but the BBS wheels are a definite upgrade and the blue-stitched seats and door panels are a nice touch. I actually thought that the shift pattern inlay on the blue-striped shift knob was peeling when I first saw it, but it’s made of forged carbon. It might be a braggadocios talking point amongst youths, but that material always looks like a black car the day after a thunderstorm.

Is the Circuit Edition worth the $7,000 premium? It really depends on whether you intend to modify the heck out of the car or leave it alone. If you want this color, you really don’t have a choice. But if something this bright was parked in my garage, I wouldn’t be able to restrain myself from the mod bug. Since Toyota was kind enough to bring the Circuit Edition back to meet consumer demand, it’s time to pony up the cash so that more cars like this end up on Gazoo Racing’s drawing board.


 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Pit+Paddock (@pitandpaddock)


OFFICIAL PARTNERS

OFFICIAL PARTNERS