Toyota has something special in store for sport hatchback fans who like their cars with expressive styling and bold colours.
Dressed out with an exclusive body kit and striking Supersonic Red paint, the 2021 Corolla Hatchback Special Edition looks like it just rolled out of a custom shop.
And, because enthusiasts who buy factory customs don’t like to see themselves coming and going on the road, Toyota will offer just 200 of these red-hot hatches for the 2021 model year.
The Special Edition, which arrives in late summer, makes a powerful style statement while adding the safety and convenience upgrades common to the rest of the 2021 Corolla Hatchback line.
All 2021 Corolla Hatchback models add rear seat-mounted side airbags, bringing the car’s total airbag count to 10. In addition, the 2021 Corolla Hatchback makes Rear Cross Traffic Alert with Blind Spot Monitor standard on the SE grade and above.
As on the 2020 versions, all 2021 Corolla Hatchback models come standard with the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of driver-assist technologies:
- Pre-Collision System with Daytime/Low-Light Vehicle and Pedestrian Detection, plus Daytime Bicycle Detection
- Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (CVT only)
- Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist and Road Edge Detection
- Automatic High Beams
- Lane Tracing Assist (CVT Only)
Hatchbacks are about versatility, of course, and the 2021 Corolla Hatchback offers more of it with the Enhanced Cargo Space option, available at no extra cost for all models.
The new feature lowers the cargo floor, adding approximately 147 litres of total capacity (to 651 litres) behind the rear seats. This option replaces the spare tire with a tire repair kit.
A bold design deserves bold, expressive colours, and the 2021 Corolla Hatchback adds two new ones: Wind Chill Pearl and Supersonic Red. Both are available with the Black Roof option, as well.
The rest of the colour roster for 2021 includes Classic Silver Metallic, Midnight Black Metallic, Galactic Aqua Mica and Blue Flame.
2021 Corolla Hatchback Special Edition really is special
For the 2021 model year, Toyota puts the spotlight on the fun in the Corolla family, with special models in both hatchback and sedan body styles.
On the hatchback side, the new Special Edition, based on the SE Upgrade CVT grade, grabs attention with its Supersonic Red paint job, black-painted 18-in. alloy wheels and a bold body kit that beats the aftermarket in style and value.
The body kit adds a sporty front splitter, side skirts, black rear roof spoiler, a rear bumper garnish and a unique Special Edition badge.
The aggressive body kit styling is well matched to the Corolla Hatchback’s design, which is anchored by a curvy, muscular physique accented by chiseled character lines and simple, condensed three-dimensional highlights.
The Special Edition pushes the style meter to 11 and is not for people who want to blend into the crowd.
Slim, J-shaped Bi-Beam LED headlamps to wrap deeply into the front fenders and give Corolla Hatchback a distinct expression. It’s functional, of course, with precise illumination.
The all-LED taillamps feature a diffusing inner lens designed to highlight the Corolla Hatchback’s stout stance.
The 2021 Hatchback Special Edition foreshadows even more excitement still to come in the hatchback segment …
The nightshade returns
The Special Edition isn’t the only style-enhanced Corolla Hatchback for 2021. The Nightshade Edition returns, adding blackout trim and blacked-out 18-inch alloy wheels to the customer’s choice of Midnight Black Metallic or Super White exterior colour.
The blackout look covers the lower rocker panels, front valance, door handles, mirror caps, shark fin antenna, rear roof spoiler and headlight inner frames. The Nightshade Edition comes with the CVT as standard.
Like all Corolla Hatchbacks, the Special Edition combines the athleticism of the robust TNGA-K platform, responsive multi-link rear suspension, and the 168-horsepower 2.0-litre Dynamic Force Engine.
Combining high-revving energy with high efficiency, the 2.0-litre derives its gutsy personality and fuel-sipping behavior from a combination of a high compression ratio (13:1); Toyota D-4S fuel injection combining 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 the 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 Dynamic Force 2.0-litre engine a maximum thermal efficiency of 40 percent.
The Dynamic Shift CVT (continuously variable transmission) that is standard on the Special Edition includes simulated 10-speed Sequential Shiftmatic steps, Sport Mode, and paddle shifters.
Unique among transmissions of this type, the key to the Dynamic Shift CVT’s distinct performance feel is a gearset used as a launch gear for start-off acceleration, before seamlessly handing off to the CVT’s pulley system.
And the beat drops
The standard multimedia continues to impress in Corolla Hatchback. All models are equipped with an 8-inch touchscreen, six speakers and are compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
For SE Upgrade and above, including the Special Edition, standard Audio Plus adds Safety Connect (1-year trial), Remote Connect (1-year trial – remote engine start only available on automatic transmission models), Service Connect (10-year trial) and SiriusXM All Access satellite radio with a three-month trial.
Premium Audio with Remote, is available on XSE (with CVT), and adds embedded navigation, Destination Assist (1-year trial) and Remote connect (1-year trial).
The Corolla Hatchback upholds the brand’s penchant for high value. The Corolla Hatchback S grade comes standard with single-zone automatic climate control, 15-inch steel wheels, 4.2-inch multi-information display (MID), push-button start and a rear spoiler.
The SE grade builds on the S grade with 16-inch alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and heated front seats.
The SE Upgrade builds on the SE grade with 18-inch alloy wheels, a heated steering wheel and features wireless charging.
The XSE grade builds on the SE Upgrade with dual-zone automatic climate control, 7-inch multi-information display (MID), fog lamps, eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and a sport fabric seats with a leather trim.