The folks from CarWow are at it again. They’re raced a lot of things over the years, from pick-ups, EVs and even a Formula 1 car. So what’s on the drag strip this time around? It’s a trio of Toyotas, Toyota Corollas, to be exact.
But as you’ve seen in the thumbnail, these are not your rental special Corollas. Lined up on the runway are two touring cars and an icon from the ’80s. This is a drag race that pits the past, the present, and the future. So, who will win? Let’s take a look at the contenders.
Representing the present is the Toyota’s entry in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), the Corolla Hatchback NGTC driven by Rory Butcher. This hatch uses a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that conforms to the sport’s current regulations. The boosted four-pot engine is good for 370 horsepower (272 kilowatts) and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-meters) of torque. If you’re curious, this Corolla has seen success in the BTCC calendar this year. So far, it’s racked up three wins for the 2021 BTCC season.
Raising the flag for the future is Corolla GR Hybrid touring car that also serves as Andrew Jackson’s office. It’s the 2022 car, says Carwow’s Mat Watson. The stats? Like the non-hybrid version, it also uses a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Power and torque figures are the same as the 2021 race car, but the electric motor provides additional boost. The motor gives the car an extra 40 horsepower (30 kilowatts) in 15-second bursts, which should be handy for passing. It’s essentially KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) for these cars. Despite the added weight of the electric assists, the hybrid and the standard model both tip the scales at 2,800 lbs (1,270 kg).
As for the past, that’s represented by the iconic Corolla 1600 GT Coupe, or Corolla Levin GT Liftback for those who prefer the JDM name. This car was driven by Chris Hodgetts, bagging back-to-back titles with this pocket rocket in ’86 and ’87. The naturally-aspirated 4A-GE 1.6-liter engine was thoroughly re-engineered to give it 180 horsepower (134 kilowatts) and 144 pound-feet (190 Newton-meters) of torque. It sounds like it will be trampled by its modern counterparts. However, it has a substantial weight advantage at just 1,763 lbs (800kg). But will it be enough to, at the very least, keep up with the new Corolla touring cars?
We won’t spoil things for you, but it’s a close race for at least two of the cars in this race.