The Corolla is more capable than you’d think.
In the latest installment of the Will It Rally YouTube series, the folks at Team O’Neil rally school take a Toyota Corolla and see what it can do off-road. Straight away, you might notice this Japanese sedan’s deficiencies: it has an automatic transmission, front wheel drive, and an open differential. Even with these shortcomings, though, the Corolla can still boogie in the snow.
“It will do what you tell it to do,” video host Wyatt Knox said. Over the course of the video, the Corolla manages to accomplish all of the textbook rally maneuvers with relative ease. The car’s only modification is a set of steel wheels wrapped in proper snow tires.
Although the Corolla’s front-wheel-drive powertrain isn’t ideal on pavement, its predictability off-road is paramount in rallying. With its open differential, the Corolla struggled to get going in the snow.
After the shakedown, the Team O’Neil crew conducted a timed lap on its grounds. Right out of the gate, Knox threw everything at the Corolla. To our surprise, it did really well. The little Toyota stayed in one piece as it held some serious angles and even managed to get some air over a sizable jump.
Besides its open differential, the Corolla’s only other shortcoming was its meager powerband, and the sedan had trouble on the uphill sections of the course. Knox tried making up for the car’s meager uphill performance by driving as smooth as possible in the corners. When the dust (and snow) settled, the Corolla ended up clocking a very respectable lap time of 2 minutes and 36 seconds, making it the quickest vehicle (for now) that Team O’Neil has tested in its Will It Rally series. In fact, the Corolla was faster than an all-wheel-drive 2014 Mini Paceman Cooper S!
It may not be Carlos Sainz Sr.’s WRC Toyota Celica from the late 1980s, but the Corolla can definitely rally. Being the most common car in the world, the Corolla makes a case for itself as a solid grassroots rally car for aspiring rally drivers.
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