Toyota Corolla (E120) Profile

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Toyota Corolla (E120) General Information

This is one of two cars that was developed in South Africa even before the final S2000 technical spec was made public. Maybe this explains why the old shell was still used. The very moment the IRC was launched Toyota presented the Auris, the successor of the 9th and last generation Corolla. (Yes, on some markets, i.e. USA, it is still called Corolla, but mainly as a saloon, on most markets the new car is identified as Auris.) As well this seemed the S2000 car of the worst configuration, but only marginally. In the first days of this category the Corolla S2000R is the only car that does not meet the weight limit. It is only 15kg over, but this means the Toyota engineers cannot play with ballast/packaging for balance, which is a famous and important game at all the opposition, who all start from below the weight limit. It's given 260BHP is also not that far behind the opposition. Curiously the car was not only built on an obsolete shell, but also a 5-door shell, despite a 3-door being available. Nevertheless since the car was created it may as well be thrown onto the international stages.

This was the next weird thing. Legendary preparation business R-E-D (Rally Engineering Development in Widnes near Chester, having a history i.e. with Ford Escort BDA/Ari Vatanen & Ford Sierra Cosworth/Jimmy McRae) took on the Corolla S2000 project in Europe. As soon as they had the first car delivered, they entered Alister McRae in it on the WRC Rally GB 2006. At first, like most new S2000 cars at the time, the Corolla S2000R didn't look that promising. But during the course of this rally R-E-D seem to have learned and found many things about their new car and on day3 Alister McRae was suddenly setting the groupN pace! David Higgins also tried the car in the BRC 2007, but then that project was suddenly called off mid season. Sure enough contracts with Daniel Sola and Victor Sa for an R-E-D Toyota IRC 2007 program were soon all but signed. Then it became quiet all the sudden and the failure of the program only dawned on us when Sola and Sa appeared in other cars.

Why exactly the R-E-D vs Toyota S2000 marriage became so quiet so soon remains a mystery. However late 2007, when it was already quiet around R-E-D. Italian team Grifone started playing around with a Corolla S2000. Didier Auriol tested their car alongside the Grifone Fiat Grande Punto S2000 and clearly preferred the Fiat. So as well at Grifone it became quiet around the Toyota S2000 project soon. This seems mysterious, as in it's original home in South Africa, the Toyota Corolla S2000R was winning championships against an army of Volkswagen Polo S2000. By 2008 Toyota South Africa and Toyota Australia meanwhile use an S2000 car based on the newer Auris model, but despite the Corolla efforts by R-E-D and Grifone, we seem further away than before from seeing a Toyota S2000 car in Europe.

Some "semi-insider" sources (from another S2000 team) told me that the fate of the Toyota S2000 project may indeed confirm my personal fear of the S2000 Kit Car with 4x4 formula has the potential of becoming extremely expensive without possible cost control. The problem indeed starts with the Corolla being over the S2000 weight limit and not having the most powerful engine. Apparently at least R-E-D saw the need of spending millions into engine development only to catch up with the works engineered cars of Peugeot and Fiat, who in return were not standing still in development either. They feared they would spend millions to have their car competitive for a few months only. As said, this comes from a "semi-insider" but seems to make sense. Both R-E-D & Grifone are amongst the very best private rally engineering companies and where are their Toyota S2000 cars after such a short time?

Toyota Corolla (E120) Related Content

Toyota Corolla (E120) Evolutions

Model & Evo. (Activity)
Toyota Corolla (E120) (ZZE122) S2000R (06-22) 260/8000 240/8500 4180.1800.1475 1265 (4.9) 4x4 (2600)

Random Toyota Corolla (E120) Photos

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Toyota Corolla (E120) Results

This is an unofficial Car Results list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego hh:mm:ss
25th. 2006 WRC Rally of Great Britain A. McRae G. Noble #62 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00

Toyota Corolla (E120) Retirements

This is an unofficial Car Model Retirements list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego Reason
Ret. 2006 WRC Rally of Great Britain A. McRae G. Noble #62 [UNKNOWN] SS12 suspension
Ret. 2006 WRC Rally of Great Britain A. McRae G. Noble #62 [UNKNOWN] SS17 ?