The Toyota Corolla XRS sport sedan was first shown in November 2003. Featuring a newly tuned version of Toyota's 2ZZ dual overhead cam engine and six-speed manual transmission (found in the Celica GT-S and Corolla Matrix XRS), the car should be able to outrace the Ford Focus SVT and Honda Civic Si. The increase in power will be complemented by improved ride and handling, thanks to a sport-tuned suspension and new steering improvements.
The 1.8 liter engine produces 170 horsepower but only 127 lb-ft of torque - roughly the same torque as the standard Corolla. The engine has been retuned to deliver a broader and stronger mid-range power curve, but continues the variable valve timing and lift system for a turbo-like rise in power starting at 6,000 rpm. The result, along with the Corolla's relatively light weight, is a zero-to-sixty time under eight seconds coupled with good throttle response - and gas mileage of 25 city, 32 highway.
The new Corolla XRS will be powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder DOHC engine that produces 170 horsepower and 127 pounds of torque. The engine will deliver a broader and stronger mid-range torque than the previous versions of the 2ZZ engine. And, it will feature a VVTL-i variable valve timing and lift system that produces a supercharged-like rise in power from 6,000 to 7,800 RPM. The result is a compact sport sedan that blends sub-eight-second zero-to-sixty acceleration with exceptional throttle response throughout its broad power band.
The XRS features a sport-tuned suspension that includes a front connecting rod damper developed by Yamaha. The damper is mounted between the shock towers to produce improved ride and handling without compromising NVH. In addition to the performance damper, the XRS features increased rate coil springs and shocks on all four wheels for improved roll and pitch, and a ride height that is lower by a full half-inch.
The suspension stands on larger 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels and Michelin performance tires, an upgrade from the standard 15-inch wheels on all other Corolla grades. It is complemented by a steering system that features a more rigid steering column, producing less vibration and improved response. A power steering rack developed for the XRS allows for better steering feedback.
There are also cosmetic changes including sport seats, color-keyed bezel surrounding the grille, silver-colored center cluster and switch plates, a leather-like shift boot with a leather shift knob, and unique badging.
The Corolla XRS will be built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Canada (TMMC) in Cambridge, Ontario alongside the Matrix. It will reach dealerships on May 1st, 2004. Annual sales of the XRS are projected at approximately 5,000 units.Source - Toyota Media