A supercharged Corolla to take on well established hot hatches, this was a fast Toyota you had never heard of.
The name ‘Corolla’ brings by three generations. What started as a little fastback sports car and sedan for the stylish in the classic age, it evolved into a retro anime favourite before transitioning into one of Toyota’s most popular economy cars. Somewhere in the transition in the 1980’s and 90’s, the beloved Corolla lost it’s enthusiast status and became a car for those who care little about cars.
So what happens when you have an established economy car platform, but want to cater for enthusiast buyers once again?
In 2005, Toyota did just that.
In 2005, Toyota released a special edition of the fabled Corolla, however this wasn’t just one of Toyota’s cheap marketing tricks. Under the hood, it packed a reinforced version of its 1.8L VVT-i engine, force fed with a supercharger and pumping out 165kW (225hp) of power. This meant that 0-100km/h could be reached in just 6.9 seconds (almost half a second quicker than the Golf GTI), and could continue onto a considerable 235km/h… Considering that in 2005, most Corollas had speedometers that maxed out at 180km/h, the T-Sport Compressor was quite a jump.
The car wasn’t a last minute thought either. If you thought the only difference between this and a regular Corolla was the addition of a supercharger, you’d be quite wrong.
Employing the chassis of a rare three-door Corolla, the T-Sport Compressor gained an obvious bodykit, rear spoiler, lower ride height, dual sports exhausts and 17-inch multi-spoke wheels – however, hiding under the Corolla covers lay larger brakes, stiffer suspension, improved steering and more performance oriented gearing, which came in the form of a 6-speed manual.
With these awesome modifications, why haven’t you heard of it before? We’ll tell you.
All examples were right-hand drive and sold in the UK in 2005 – and only 250 examples were made.
It’s a bit of a shame that the T-Sport Compressor didn’t enter the mass market, because we think it would have been a genuine competitor to the likes of the Volkswagen GTI and RenaultSport Clio.