Toyota showed up to this week's 2018 SEMA show in Las Vegas with a handful of Corolla Hatchbacks.
The highlight was this drift special developed by Toyota Racing Development in partnership with noted professional drift team Papadakis Racing.
Called the Corolla Hatchback Drift Demo, the car is based on the redesigned 2019 Corolla and has an 850-horsepower powertrain not driving the front wheels like in most Corollas, but rather the rear pair.
Yes, the Corolla Hatchback Drift Demo is a rear-wheel-drive car, a modification its builders said was the most challenging of the project. The team began by removing every piece of interior and exterior trim, and then every mechanical component to leave an essentially bare chassis.
That was the easy part. The team then had to modify the rear subframe to accept the differential. It also had to cut the middle of the car apart to build a tunnel for the transmission and driveshaft, and then redesign the suspension to support the new layout.
As for the powertrain, it is based on the 2.5-liter inline-4 found in the latest RAV4. A high-boost turbocharger was installed, along with a nitrous oxide system and high-flow exhaust. A set of Stoptech brakes helps the driver modulate speed, while Motegi Racing wheels and Nexen N’Fera SUR4 tires keep it planted on the pavement. To fit the massive wheels, custom quarter panels, fender flares, and side skirts were designed in-house at Papadakis Racing, then hand-molded in carbon fiber by TRD.
Sadly, we don't expect to see anything like the Corolla Hatchback Drift Demo appearing in a Toyota showroom anytime soon.
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