2021 Toyota Corolla Offers Track-Tuned Apex Edition

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - July 15, 2020

With Toyota offering a TRD version of both the Avalon and the Camry, one would’ve expected the automaker to add to its sporty line of sedans with a Corolla TRD. Unfortunately, that doesn’t look like it’s happening. Still, Toyota didn’t want the Corolla sedan to go unloved, so it gets the next best thing – a limited-edition package called the Apex Edition.

The first and most obvious thing to cover is the new look. The Apex Edition wears a special body kit that includes a front spoiler, side moldings, a rear diffuser, and fog light covers that are finished in black. There are some bronze accents throughout the new parts that help this Corolla look sharper than other available trim levels. Consumers wanting an even sportier look can opt for an available trunk spoiler. Toyota will offer the Apex Edition in three color schemes to help the body kit pop, including Cement with Black Sand Pearl roof, Super White with Black Sand Pearl roof, and Black Sand Pearl.

The Apex Edition is more than just an appearance package, as it comes with a special track-tuned suspension. Unique coil springs lower the sedan by 0.6 inches and increased spring rates help reduce roll while cornering. Additionally, Toyota’s fitted the sedan with special shocks that keep vertical movements to a minimum. Lastly, solid stabilizer bars have been added to increase overall rigidity. Toyota claims the changes to the suspension have increased roll stiffness by 47% in the front and 33% in the back.

In addition to the suspension changes, the Apex Edition can be had with available 18-inch aluminum wheels and summer tires. The tires alone should result in a dramatic improvement in handling, but a unique power-steering system should also result in a sportier feel.

Toyota Corolla

Being available on SE and XSE trims means the limited-edition Apex Edition package is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that pumps out 169 horsepower. While horsepower goes unchanged compared to other Corolla sedans with the same engine, a sport-tuned exhaust system is offered with the package. The majority of Apex Editions will come with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) with 120 of the 6,000 units being equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. Opting for the manual transmission results in a downgrade of equipment to match the SE trim.

While Toyota has brought out the Corolla’s sporty side with the Apex Edition, it’s still a regular Corolla underneath. That means you’re getting loads of standard features. All Corolla trims now come with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa as standard. Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 is standard on the Apex Edition, while blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are standard on the XSE Apex Edition and optional on the SE Apex Edition with the CVT.

Toyota didn’t provide any information on how much the Apex Edition costs for the SE or XSE trims. The 2021 SE starts at $23,230 (prices include destination) with the range-topping XSE starting at $26,680. Sales of the limited-edition package are expected to begin this fall.

The new Apex Edition could be Toyota’s way of staying relevant in the compact segment that’s moving toward offering sportier options. Unfortunately, against the likes of the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Honda Civic Si, Honda Civic Type R, Hyundai Veloster N, and the recently announced Mazda3 Turbo, adding a body kit and tuned suspension don’t do much to raise to the Corolla to match its competitors. At least not on paper.

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, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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