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Good morning friends,

Jim here checking in from DC! I’ve been waiting in the bushes for a truly “special” car for a while and the GR Corolla looks to be it. I’ve already called my local dealer and am on their allocation list. My current daily is a 2020 VW GTI S with the DSG. It’s a fantastic car but sometimes it just leaves me wanting a little more edge and the long term reliability prospects worry me a bit.

I’m not exactly amazing at driving stick (I can do it but I don’t have a ton of time behind the wheel of manual cars) and always dreaded the idea of having one in the city but for a car this spectacular I’m willing to suck up the growing pains…plus my fiancée really wants to learn to drive stick and I figure the iMT technology is going to make it an easier transition for both of us.

I think I’ll just be going for a Core GR Corolla with the performance package. As cool as the Circuit edition is I’m planning on driving the absolute hell out of it and it’s bound to get some nicks and dings being in the city, so unless it winds up being less than 40 grand (which I doubt) I don’t think it makes a ton of sense for us. I also don’t much care about the tech and heated seats and such….I cut my sports car teeth on my aunt’s NA Miata when I was younger and care way more about the drive than creature comforts or aesthetics.
 

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I test drove a regular Corolla hatch today with the iMT before putting down my deposit, and it makes driving manual quite a bit smoother! The car can get going relatively quickly by releasing the clutch without the gas, and it will hold the RPM you need for the next gear, both upshifting and downshifting.
 

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Driving a manual can be scary at first but with these new transmissions and auto rev matching is makes the learning curve so much easier. My first manual car I owned was a Veloster N and I drove it off the lot without ever owning a manual before and only driving one maybe 2 times total. Once you learn the clutch and how to be smooth is makes everything so enjoyable and with auto rev matching even driving in traffic isn't that much of a chore.
 
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