What caught my eye way across the intersection was this Corolla’s pink paint job. Given how some here have been lamenting the lack of pink cars, I thought it worth a quick shot, since otherwise Corollas of this vintage aren’t exactly what gets me to pull the camera out of my pocket. But when I got home and took a closer look, it appears I’ve found one of the rather rare 2005-2006 XRS versions and not just a Corolla S, which shared the body kit but has different wheels.
So for those of you who repeatedly leave comments that Corollas are all dish-washer dull appliances and that Toyota didn’t build fun to drive cars, let me introduce you to this pink speed demon, that can whip off 0-60 runs in 7 seconds flat. And redlines at 8200 rpm in the process.
The XRS’ 1796cc 2ZZ four belts out 170 hp at 7600 rpm, a very slightly detuned version as also used in the Celica GT-S, and backed by a six-speed stick. Car and Driver tested one here, and also got a mid-15s 1/4 mile @90 mph, which is right in stock muscle-car territory from the golden days of the genre. And I’d rather be behind the Corolla’s steering wheel at its 130 mph governed top speed than a drum-braked Hemi GTX at that speed. Chassis modifications included a stiffened steering column, lowered ride height, 16″ wheels, and a shock tower bridge, among others. The XRS cost some $2500 more than a boring Corolla LE, which seems rather like a bargain in hindsight. But buyers seemed to not buy into a boy-racer Corolla, and only some 7000 were sold in the US during its two-year run.