There’s a lot of love for the hot new hatchback.
Toyota’s new Corolla is most definitely one of the best-looking family hatchbacks that money can buy today, and thanks to its use of Toyota’s New Global Architecture, it also promises to be one of the better-handling of the bunch too. The aggressively-styled Corolla has also caught the attention of the tuners & modifiers too, with this year’s SEMA show featuring no less than 5 tricked-out Corollas.
The one we’ll kick off with is the Hoonigan Corolla, which is inspired by the rally cars of the 90s. One of the less visually-divisive of the lot, the Hoonigan Corolla’s been given a matte-black wrap, contrasted by white Fifteen52 Integrale alloys, and Hella spotlights integrated cleanly into the front bumper. There’s also been an upgrade to the suspension (with new coils), and the car breathes better thanks to a high-performance air-intake and an Ark Performance exhaust system.
Next up is a Corolla built by Muscle Tuner Automotive (MTA), designed to pay homage to the AE86 sports car of yesterday. An aggressive-looking thing, the MTA Corolla features a unique bodykit that includes an aluminium front splitter, canards, skirt extensions, and a huge diffuser out back. Additionally, there’s also a customised wrap for the car that bring it more in line with the look of the AE86. It’s all pretty smart.
Not limited to just aesthetic enhancements, MTA also went to town with a unique air-intake, a very loud straight-pipe exhaust, and even a nitrous-oxide injection system in true street-racing fashion. There are also lightweight alloys wrapped in performance tyres, ensuring that all that performance doesn’t see you going the wrong way.
Stepping it down a notch visually is the Super Street Corolla, which compared to the MTA Corolla, looks positively demure. Wrapped in bright-red, the Super Street Corolla also features neon lights beneath the bumpers & side skirts, which are also red. There are black six-spoke Volk Racing wheels wrapped in Falken tyres, behind which lie Wilwood brakes.
More changes were made under the skin. There’s notably a quad-exhaust system which certainly looks impressive, and there’s also a new and improved air intake system. There are also bucket seats inside and a custom audio system, replete with a big subwoofer in the boot, as is absolutely necessary for any car claiming to be a ‘super street’ model.
The fourth car we’re bringing up is the Papadakis Racing Corolla. Modified to compete in the Formula Drift Pro series, the Papadakis Corolla has had its cabin gutted, its track widened, an ‘interesting’ bodykit fitted, and the engine thrown out altogether.
Under the bonnet now lies a 2.7-litre 4-pot engine, producing no less than 633kW of power. That power goes to the rear wheels (it’s a drift car after all), and we can only imagine that it lights up those rear wheels without much difficulty.
And the last (but hardly the least) is the SoCal Kustomz Corolla, which is noteworthy as SoCal Kustomz usually handles classic American muscle. That didn’t stop them of course, as they first went to work fitting a customised exhaust system, as well as a nitrous-oxide injection system.
As SoCal Kustomz isn’t exactly used to small Japanese hatchbacks, they didn’t go overboard with the styling. They added a street-racer-approved set of graphics to it, as well as Motegi MR138 alloys, replete with Nexen N’Fera SUR4 rubbers.
While these Corollas will certainly not be to everyone’s tastes, they certainly show that tuners & modifiers are taking huge interest in Toyota’s new hatch, which lays testament to its solid & balanced chassis, as well as the new Dynamic Force engines (only the Papadakis Corolla doesn’t use one). This certainly bodes well for Akio Toyoda’s vision to inject driver involvement back into the range.