How to Make a Corolla Go Faster

by William Zane

The Toyota Corolla has been a hugely popular car among owners seeking a practical, fuel efficient way of getting around. But while the Corolla gets great gas mileage and is a very reliable mode of transport, with the exception of a few performance versions like the Corolla FX-16, speed and performance has never been this model’s strong suit. There are several ways to make a Corolla faster.

1

Install a cold air intake. Like most cars, the Toyota Corolla has a restrictive stock air box. By replacing it with a more free flowing cold air intake, colder, more dense air is delivered to the motor, allowing it to make more power. The motor will also sound better.

2

Upgrade the exhaust system. Replace the small diameter stock exhaust with a larger diameter performance exhaust and muffler. These are available from multiple companies.

3

Replace the stock and restrictive cast exhaust manifold with a more free-flowing tubular header. A tubular header features larger internal passages and smoother construction that encourages faster air flow from the exhaust gasses as they exit the motor. The quicker the motor can get rid of spent exhaust gasses, the more power it can make.

4

Install a set of underdrive pulleys for accessories like the alternator that are belt driven. These pulleys are lighter than the stock pulleys and free up extra horsepower by reducing the parasitic drag that the heavy, stock parts create.

5

Replace the stock flywheel with a lighter performance flywheel. A light-weight aluminum flywheel works on the same principle as the underdrive pulley by reducing power-robbing drag. The stock flywheel on a Corolla is relatively heavy, so free up revs and horsepower with a light flywheel.

6

Install higher revving camshafts. Performance cams allow the motor to rev higher and produce more power thanks to more extreme lift and duration created by re-profiled camshaft lobes.

7

Turbo or supercharge the motor. This is by far the best route to go if you want massive horsepower gains. Forced induction is method that forces more air into the motor and results in dramatic power gains. A turbocharger or supercharger should be installed by a professional shop to ensure reliable results.

Items you will need

About the Author

William Zane has been a freelance writer and photographer for over six years and specializes primarily in automotive-related subject matter among many other topics. He has attended the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, where he studied automotive design, and the University of New Mexico, where he studied journalism.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images