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 1,794 cc VVTL-i four-cylinder engine as the T Sport, but with a supercharger added to boost output from 189 to 215 bhp and technical adjustments to meet Euro IV emissions standards. That helps knock one-and-a-half seconds off the car's 0-62 mph acceleration time, down to 6.9 seconds, and adds 3 mph to the top speed, now 143 mph.
Thanks to extra torque at lower engine speeds - a maximum 159 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm - the Corolla Compressor delivers supremely flexible performance: acceleration from 50 to 75 mph in fifth gear is accomplished in 8.5 seconds, while the shift from 37 to 62 mph 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 tires 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 in the UK on 1 November 2006, priced on-the-road at £19,995. It's not immediatelly clear if Corolla Compressor will be available in North America.
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