Toyota Taiwan has introduced the new range-topping Corolla Altis GR Sport, a name you’d be familiar with had you seen our earlier coverage of Thailand’s own Corolla Altis GR Sport. They may share the same name, but the two cars are not identical.

Visually, the Taiwanese model looks more refined, or cleaner if you will. The front fascia features a massive lower grille with rounded fog lamps at the bottom edges, “air inlets” on the sides, and a slightly bolder grille with a thin chrome strip and thicker black inserts.

Like the Thai Corolla Altis GR Sport, it too sits on 17-inch dual-tone wheels, but gains a small wind deflector behind each wheel. Other model-specific enhancements include dark tinted tail lights and GR Sport badges. The GR Sport variant is available for the standard Corolla and Corolla Hybrid, the latter featuring four exterior colours – Dazzling Red, Ebony Black, Ferret White, and Aurora Silver.

For the cabin, there’s a new two-tone red/black leather seat upholstery (the Thai model is full black), GR embossment on the front headrests, red contrast stitching, and shift paddles for the steering wheel.

Mechanically, the car gets a newly developed GR Sport suspension with thicker front and rear anti-roll bars, which the company says improve stability and reduces body roll. Otherwise, it runs on the 2ZR-FE 1.8 litre engine producing 140 PS at 6,400 rpm and 172 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm, all of which is sent to the front wheels through a Super CVT-i gearbox with seven virtual ratios.

The hybrid, on the other hand, is powered by the 2ZR-FXE 1.8 litre Atkinson cycle engine that makes 98 PS and 142 Nm on its own, but is assisted by an electric motor (72 PS and 122 Nm). The total system output is 122 PS, and it gets an e-CVT with four drive modes – EV, Eco, Normal and Sport.

Finally, for safety, there’s seven airbags as standard, while more expensive variants get Toyota Safety Sense which bundles features like pre-collision system, lane departure assist, and adaptive cruise control. Prices for the Corolla Altis GR Sport in Taiwan starts from TWD828,000 (RM120k).