Toyota is launching a special edition for its most popular model ever sold: the Corolla. The Corolla Apex Edition lives up to its name thanks to unique track-tuned suspension. Toyota engineers developed the dynamic characteristics through extensive testing on different tracks around the world, including TMC Higashi-Fuji Proving Ground in Japan, Toyota Arizona Proving Ground and MotorSport Ranch in Texas.
The Apex Edition is equipped with the Dynamic Shift CVT (continuously variable transmission) that offers simulated 10-speed Sequential Shiftmatic steps, Sport Mode and paddle shifters. The key to the Dynamic Shift CVT’s distinct performance feel is a gearset used as a “first” gear for start-off acceleration, before seamlessly handing off to the CVT’s pulley system.
The Corolla Apex Edition package is available on either the Corolla SE or XSE and will turn heads while turning corners with greater zeal. It maximizes the inherent potential of the Corolla sedan’s high-strength TNGA-C platform, multi-link rear suspension and 169-horsepower 2.0-liter Dynamic Force Engine. A factory-custom body package accentuates the Corolla’s edgy styling, and the new model issues a punchier bark with a sport-tuned exhaust unique to Corolla Apex.
Unique coil springs lower the vehicle by 0.6 inches while the increased spring rate reduces vehicle roll angle and provides flatter cornering and steering response. Specially tuned shocks with internal rebound springs provide increased damping force that controls vertical and roll movement. Unique solid stabilizer bars with increased rigidity help to decrease vehicle roll angle while improving overall agility. Additionally, new jounce bumpers ensure the lowered ride height doesn’t hinder ride quality. All combined Apex Edition suspension changes increase roll stiffness by 47% in the front and 33% in the rear.
The 18-inch flow-formed cast aluminum wheels feature a gloss black appearance, but even more importantly, they are specially developed to aid in brake cooling while offering a mass reduction of 2.2 lbs. per wheel. They can be paired with either an all-season tire or an optional summer tire that helps improve lateral grip, steering precision and yaw response.
Bespoke electronic power steering (EPS) has been tuned specifically for the Apex Edition to complement its dynamic suspension changes. The new EPS tuning provides a distinctive flavor with a sportier, v-shaped build-up response. All of these changes are paired with a specially developed catback exhaust that features a throatier, aggressive tone at start-up while also providing a bolder, enhanced tone at wide-open throttle. A unique 3.5-inch stainless steel tip was developed to match the vehicle’s styling.
The Corolla SE Apex Edition features premium fabric upholstery, while the XSE Apex Edition has black SofTex®-trimmed fabric upholstery. The XSE Apex Edition will also feature heated front seats, including an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support.
The Corolla Apex Edition is suitably powered for its mission by the 2.0-liter Dynamic Force Engine. Standard in all Corolla SE and XSE grades, the engine derives its impressive power and efficiency from a high-compression Toyota D4-S fuel injection system (13:1) that combines direct injection and secondary port injectors, high-speed combustion, VVT-iE intelligent variable valve-timing on the intake side and VVT-i on the exhaust. VVT-iE uses an electric motor instead of oil pressure to control t he variable valve timing.
A two-discharge-port oil pump and a variable cooling system with electric water pump help maximize engine performance and efficiency. The more efficient cooling system also ensures quicker cabin heating on cold days and quicker cool-down when the air conditioner is used. All of these technologies, along with ultra-low internal friction, give the 2.0-liter engine a maximum thermal efficiency of 40%, among the highest for a current passenger vehicle engine.