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2021 Toyota Corolla Apex Edition improves performance but isn’t TRD approved

The Toyota Corolla Apex Edition joins the Toyota lineup for 2021.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Toyota is launching a new, performance-focused-ish version of the Corolla for the 2021 model year, the 2021 Toyota Corolla Apex Edition. Unlike models that meet criteria governed by the team at Toyota Racing Development (TRD), the Corolla is a step in the right direction but doesn't meet the standards.

The Apex Edition is a package available on Corolla SE and XSE models.

It is powered by the Corolla's 169-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) or a six-speed manual. Sport driving mode and paddle shifters are standard equipment.

2021 Toyota Corolla Apex Edition

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Toyota is enhancing the noise that comes out of the Corolla Apex Edition's posterior with a sport-tuned exhaust that delivers a throaty growl. The specially developed catback exhaust has a 3.5-inch stainless steel tip.

Just 6,000 of these versions will be sold for the 2021 model years. Of those 120 will have a six-speed manual transmission that replaces the standard automatic.

Models with the CVT achieve 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. Six-speed Corollas get 28 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.

To make it look the part, the Apex Edition gets a black body kit that is meant to visually impress and increase aerodynamics. There is a black front spoiler, fog light covers, side moldings, and rear diffuser. There are bronze accents as well. Buyers can add a rear trunk aero spoiler.

Under the body is a special set of unique coil springs that lower the vehicle by 0.6 inches. Specially tuned shocks with internal rebound increase the damping force to control body roll. A unique solid stabilizer bar further ups the ante.

New jounce bumpers are meant to ensure that the car's lower ride height doesn't hinder ride quality. The changes increase roll stiffness by 47 percent in the front and 33 percent in the rear.

The model's electronic power steering has been tuned specifically for the model.

The Corolla rides on 18-inch flow-formed cast aluminum gloss black wheels. Buyers can get them wrapped with all-season or summer tires.

Buyers will have their choice of three exterior colors: Cement with a Black Sand Pearl roof, Super White with a Black Sand Pearl roof, and Black Sand Pearl. All models have black mirrors caps, triple J-shaped clearance lamps, LED turn signals and tail lamps with smoked outer lenses.

The Corolla SE Apex Edition will feature premium fabric upholstery, while the XSE Apex Edition has black SofTex-trimmed fabric upholstery. The XSE Apex Edition will also feature heated front seats, and an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat with power lumbar support.

The car has standard Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa compatibility that play out on the car's 8.0-inch infotainment touch screen. Two USB ports, Bluetooth, and satellite radio are also standard.

Toyota is equipping the model with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, which is standard across the Corolla lineup.

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New full-size SUVtoyota

Toyota teases new SUV that could be updated Sequoia

The teaser image gives zero detail on the new SUV.


Toyota recently retook the title of world’s largest automaker and has its sights set on refreshing some of its oldest models. The Tundra full-size pickup truck got the treatment late last year, and now we’re seeing teases of a new SUV from the auto giant. The image, released yesterday, is likely of a new Sequoia, which is based on the Tundra and is equally as overdue for a refresh.

2022 Toyota Sequoia If the tease is of a new Sequoia, it will replace the 15-year-old current-generation model.Toyota

After 15 years or so on sale in its current form, the Sequoia is old enough to earn a learner’s permit of its own at this point. All of its competitors offer newer and more intuitive technology, a larger variety of advanced safety gear, and more efficient powertrains. In the teaser, we can see a sharply chiseled rear quarter panel and shapely tail lights, but not much else. If it is a Sequoia, the styling marks a significant shift in the SUV’s outward appearance.

The shadowy image is the only tidbit Toyota has shared so far, but we can draw some information from the recently released Toyota Tundra pickup truck, with which the Sequoia typically shares a platform and powertrain elements. The all-new 2022 Tundra dropped the 5.7-liter V8 that powered it for years, in favor of a pair of twin-turbo V6 engines, one of which is a hybrid. That means we could see a new Sequoia with the same engines, delivering up to 479 horsepower.

2022 Toyota Sequoia We're likely to see a TRD off-road oriented model.Toyota

The new full-size SUV will likely also get some of the tech updates that Toyota bestowed upon the new Tundra. That could mean up to a 14-inch infotainment touchscreen with a new, more intuitive user interface and over-the-air updates. Refreshed safety features are almost certainly on the list of Sequoia changes as well.

Toyota hasn’t nailed down an official reveal date or any other information for the new SUV, but has said that more details are coming soon.

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