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Toyota GR Corolla + Nitto NT555 G2: A Match Made in Hot Hatch Heaven

Speaking from my admittedly biased perspective as an owner, there hasn’t been a car like the Toyota GR Corolla in quite some time.

No, the GR Corolla isn’t the fastest car you can buy for the money or the "sexiest." Many consider its interior cheap looking and others scoff at the idea of any Corolla with a starting price close to $40,000.

Toyota GR Corolla on Mountain Road

But none of that has stopped this Toyota hot hatch from taking a rightful place among the best enthusiast vehicles on the market. And in the nine months I’ve had mine, I’ve continued to be impressed by this one-of-a-kind hot hatch at every turn.

Toyota GR Corolla on Nitto NT555 G2 and Enkei NT03+M

But like most cars, the GR Corolla still leaves room for improvement from the aftermarket. And when it came time to begin the upgrades on mine, wheels and tires were the first place I went.

Room for More

A big reason for that decision is because Toyota gave the GR Corolla some properly large fenders in the front and rear.

Toyota GR Corolla at Buttonwillow Raceway

With 235-width tires mounted on 18x8.50-inch wheels, the GR does get wider wheels and tires than the base Corolla, but Toyota has left plenty of room on the table for those who want more.

Interestingly, Toyota even included a factory wheel spacer on the rear to widen the GR Corolla’s rear track.

Toyota GR Corolla Wheel Spacer

In other words, you've got lots of options for wheels. And with with plenty of extra room to work with, I settled on an 18x9.5” wheel: the Enkei NT03+M to be specific.

Enkei NT03+M on Toyota GR Corolla

I've always loved the NT03+M and its unique design. It’s a classic wheel with a strong motorsport heritage that’s made in Japan, but doesn’t break the bank either.

The Do-It-All Performance Tire

And to pair with new wheel setup? A set of Nitto NT555 G2 summer ultra high performance tires. It’s a tire I’ve run on so many of my cars because it's a dependable enthusiast tire and one that’s very suited to the GR Corolla’s do-it-all personality.

Nitto NT555 G2 on Toyota GR Corolla

I’ve used the NT555 G2 on track with results that exceeded my expectations and have logged thousands of street miles on them as well, with the G2s providing more than adequate grip for spirited canyon driving and a relaxed personality on road trips an the daily grind.

Nitto NT555 G2 on Toyota GR Corolla

At 265/35/R18 the new tires are big jump up in width from the GR Corolla’s factory 235-width tires, but amazingly they still fit inside the fenders with room to spare.

Toyota GR Corolla on Nitto NT555 G2

For now I’ve removed the factory rear spacers, and even with the relatively aggressive +27 offset of these wheels, there’s just enough space that I could put them back on without issue, which I’ll likely do when I start upgrading the suspension.

Nitto NT555 G2 on Toyota GR Corolla

On the Road & Looking Ahead

Even in stock form the GR Corolla already has gotten more attention, questions and compliments than any daily driver I’ve ever owned, and the new wheel and tire setup has just given the car that much more personality.

Toyota GR Corolla on Nitto NT555 G2

And even better, on those spirited drives in the mountains the extra grip and control is noticeable. It was good out of the box and it’s even better now.

Toyota GR Corolla on Nitto NT555 G2

If there’s any drawback to this setup, it’s simply that the GR Corolla produces an insane amount of brake dust, and the NT03 is not a particularly easy wheel to clean. After just 10 or 20 miles of driving, the silver finish already begins to turn brown and gray.

Toyota GR Corolla on Nitto NT55 G2

So I’ll be looking into solutions for reducing brake dust, or perhaps swapping the wheels themselves for something else in the same size that’s a little easier to keep clean.

Toyota GR Corolla on Nitto NT555 G2

But man, when it's clean, the current setup looks great. And the car drives even better now. It’s a fitting and worthy improvement to an already-special car on that has me very excited for what comes next.

Want to know more about what life is like with the GR Corolla as a daily driver? Here's the story.

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