Let’s just forget 2020, OK? Next year is sure to be better, and Toyota has something it thinks you should look forward to: the 2021 Corolla Apex Edition, a special-edition version of the sedan that joins the Special Edition version of the hatchback that debuted earlier this summer.
The regular Corolla sedan also gets some updates for 2021, including Android Auto capability, which joins the Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility made standard for 2020.
Related: 2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Adds Safety, Style, Special Edition (But Not Speed)
Outside, the model has much more attitude than the regular Corolla. It wears an aerodynamic black body kit with bronze accents, a front spoiler, foglight covers, side moldings and a rear diffuser. In back there’s an optional trunk spoiler. The model also sits 0.6 inch lower than the regular sedan.
Other styling highlights include 18-inch flow-formed cast-aluminum gloss-black wheels, a specific 3.5-inch stainless-steel tip and three exterior color choices: Cement with Black Sand Pearl roof, Super White with Black Sand Pearl roof and Black Sand Pearl.
The attitude isn’t just skin-deep. Unlike the hatchback special edition, which doesn’t include any powertrain or suspension tweaks, Toyota says the Apex Edition features track-tuned suspension upgrades along with specific shocks with internal rebound springs. It also gets a sport-tuned catback exhaust.
Engine and Transmission
The Apex version is based on the SE and XSE trims; power comes from the regular model’s 169-horsepower, 2.0-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine. Most will be equipped with a continuously variable automatic transmission, but Toyota said it will make 120 units of the SE trim with a six-speed manual transmission that adds sports-car-like rev-matching on downshifts.
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Aside from the Apex version joining the lineup, the regular Corolla sedan gets some new features for 2021. Rear side airbags are new, bringing the sedan’s airbag total to 10. Also, rear cross-traffic alert with blind spot monitor is now standard on XLE and XSE trims and optional on LE and LE Hybrid models, as well as SE trims equipped with the CVT.
Toyota will only make 6,000 versions of the Apex; no word yet on pricing. The 2021 Corolla Apex goes on sale in the fall; the regular version is on sale now.
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