Toyota just revealed the new Corolla Hatchback (aka the Auris overseas), but it’s already converted the hatch for drifting.
Though the drift machine looks something like the production version, in reality it’s heavily modified – and you can tell that much just by looking at it.For starters, Toyota ditched the front-wheel drive configuration for RWD, which is ideal for power slides and, of course, meeting the Formula Drift regulations.Toyota Racing Development also built for it a wide-body kit designed by Jon Sibal. It rides on a set of 18-inch wheels with Nexen tires, while the stripped-out interior features Sparco buckets, racing harnesses, a full roll cage… and little else.Corolla Drifter Grows To 2.7 Liters, 1,000 HorsepowerThe standard engine is replaced by a 2.7-liter inline-four from the RAV4. But even the transplanted powerplant is substantially reworked. With a Borg Warner turbocharger, nitrous injection, higher compression, and thoroughly revised components, it now kicks out 1,000 brake horsepower (746 kW) and 850 lb-ft (1,152 Nm) of torque. Burning an E85 ethanol blend, all that muscle reaches the rear wheels through a four-speed gearbox, four-disc clutch and a carbon-fiber driveshaft.The result is a very different machine than what you’ll see in showrooms and it’s already off to an auspicious start, as Frederic Aasbo drove it in the top Pro class upon its debut at the Formula Drift season opener at Long Beach. Aaso promptly trounced the competition, handily beating Forrest Wang’s Nissan by a healthy margin to top the standings.