The key to any hot hatch beyond blistering performance is a sporty look, and the 2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Special Edition came out swinging on that last bit. Here we have a Supersonic Red hatch with some cool-looking black side skirts and a spoiler on the liftgate. Not only that, but Toyota’s only building 1,500 examples, so it will be fairly rare against the hundreds of thousands of Corollas the automaker sells each year.
For those of you thinking Toyota pulled out the stops when it came to performance, that’s not really the case. Unfortunately, this Corolla Hatchback Special Edition didn’t suddenly become the turbocharged Golf GTI rival enthusiasts have been hoping for. Instead, you still get the same 2.0-liter, 168 horsepower naturally-aspirated inline-four. It mates up to a standard CVT, or a snappy six-speed manual, so you still can have some fun if you prefer to row your own gears.
On the styling front, the 2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Special Edition also sports black 18-inch alloy wheels bespoke to the limited-run model .The black body kit on display here includes the front splitter, side skirts and a black roof spoiler as well as a Special Edition badge.
While Toyota didn’t make the Corolla any more powerful, it is a bit more practical as a hatchback by way of the no-cost “Enhanced Cargo Space” option. That increases cargo space behind the rear seats by 6 cubic feet and makes for easier loading, while ditching the spare tire for a repair kit.
As far as we know, a hot Corolla is coming
We know what you hot hatch performance fans out there are thinking. Trust us, we’re thinking the same thing: Why doesn’t Toyota just build the GR Corolla we want? That model is rumored to managed 257 horsepower from a turbocharged three-cylinder engine, which would put it right smack in contention with the Volkswagen Golf GTI and the Hyundai Veloster N.
On that front, it’s worth keeping an eye on Toyota’s movements here. They have given us some “wink wink, nudge nudge” hints that it’s coming, saying that “perhaps it’s time the U.S. got a Toyota hot hatch to call its own.”
Yes, Toyota. Yes, it is.