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  Home > Teams > Current WRC teams > Toyota > Rally cars > Corolla WRC
Return of Corolla
Coming in the wake of successful Celica, Corolla was a car of quite different philosophy and character. Whereas Celica was based on bigger sports car, Corolla was bred under new World Rally Car regulations and took its shape from mass-produced FWD car. Shorter, with small overhangs and wheels on corners, Corolla had almost as long wheelbase as Celica despite being much shorter.

With small size came packaging and servicing problems. In order to fit all equipment in the car, engine was fitted transversely and mated with new XTrac sequential gearbox. TTE had enough experience from WRC and tried to make car as serviceable as possible, but as Didier Auriol found out in Monte Carlo 1998, changing bent steering rack from such a small car is likely to incur time penalties.

Car used the same basic engine than last Celica but according to TTE, some 80 percent of it was new. In New Zealand 1998, completely new engine was introduced, taken from Lexus and Toyota promptly scored 1-2 result. Already in 1998 it was rumored that Toyota was planning entry in Formula One and that rallying would be done away with. And indeed in San Remo 1999, Ove Andersson revealed that "focus of Toyota's motorsport activities will change".

After Toyota withdrew from WRC, many Corolla WRC's found their way to privateer hands and for a some time it was the best choice for a private driver. Some new development, mainly concentrating on suspension, was done even in this late stage and it was found out that works Corolla's had had too hard suspension and that car worked much better with softer springs.

Debut WRC event: Finland 1997
Best WRC result: 1st by Carlos Sainz in Monte Carlo 1998
 1st by Didier Auriol in Catalunya 1998
 1st by Carlos Sainz in New Zealand 1998
 1st by Didier Auriol in China 1999
Rallies contested: 32  (works entries)
WRC starts: 69  (works entries)
Outright wins: 4  (wins to rallies ratio 12.5%)
Podiums: 30  (podiums to starts ratio 43.5%)
DNF's: 21  (DNF's to starts ratio 30.4 %)
Points scored: 194  (manufacturer championship points)
Avg points per rally: 6.1  
Technical data
Group and class World Rally Car
Location: Front transverse
Turbo: Yes
Cylinders: 4 in line
Valves: 16
Bore x stroke: 85.4 x 86.0 mm
Cubic capacity: 1972 cc
Power: 299 hp
Torque: 510 Nm
Compression ratio: 8.5:1
Length: 4100 mm
Width: 1770 mm
Height: 1365 mm
Wheelbase: 2465 mm
Front track: 1564 mm
Rear track: 1556 mm
Weight: 1230 kg
Drive: 4WD
Gears: 6
Sequential: Yes
corolla wrc
(Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window)
Corolla WRC as introduced in Autosport International Show, January 1998 Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
Did you know?
Official WRC debut for Corolla took place in Neste Rally Finland 1997. Event took place 29th to 31st of August but prize ceremony began only after midnight, 1st of September. Reason for this was that by then the required number of Toyota Corolla's had been produced and homologation of the Corolla WRC became officially valid.