Tougher emissions regulations signal the end of the road for production of Toyota’s rapid Corolla T Sport model, but its hot hatch reputation is being kept alight with the introduction of a Corolla that’s faster, more powerful and has better handling and more street presence than ever before.
Available only in strictly limited numbers, the Corolla Compressor uses the same 1,794cc VVTL-i four-cylinder engine as the T Sport, but with a supercharger added to boost output from 189 to 215bhp (217 DIN hp) and technical adjustments to meet Euro IV emissions standards. That helps knock one-and-a-half seconds off the car’s 0-62mph acceleration time, down to 6.9 seconds, and adds 3mph to the top speed, now 143mph.
Thanks to extra torque at lower engine speeds - a maximum 215Nm at 4,000rpm - the Corolla Compressor delivers supremely flexible performance: acceleration from 50 to 75mph in fifth gear is accomplished in 8.5 seconds, while the shift from 37 to 62mph in fourth takes only 6.1 seconds.
To cope with the power hike, the Corolla Compressor is fettled with 15mm lowered sports suspension and uprated springs for extra handling performance. It looks the part, too, riding on 17-inch alloy wheels with 215/45 tyres and dressed with a roof spoiler, deep rear air dam and sports exhaust with twin tailpipes.
Only 250 right-hand drive Corolla Compressor models are being made available in the UK, so potential owners will have to move almost as quickly as the car they desire in order to secure one. The model goes on sale on 1 November 2005, priced on-the-road at £19,995.
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