Indus Motors Should Turn The Departing Corolla XLi Into A Track Monster

2015 Toyota Corolla XLi

I have been asked a question over and over again. It has come to a point that I can tell, while shaking someone’s hand, that they are going to ask the same question and so I reply: For rupees 125,000 you can buy many many things but replacing window-winders for “Power Pack” stuff isn’t one of them. What’s the fuss? Window-winder is manual labor in the digital age where Pakistan and India might be the only two countries where automatic windows and pong-less side-mirrors are advertised.

Have you ever wondered how hilarious it looks when you buy a car worth well above 1 million rupees with window winders in the year 2014? I have seen people who bought the new Corolla XLi and shared pictures of Ferrari Enzo on their Facebook justifying the winders. If Ferrari can have them, so can the XLi. HMMPPPHHH!

The Corolla 1.3 XLi is priced at PKR. 1,624,000 while the 1.3 GLi is priced at PKR. 1,749,000. Major difference in between them is power-windows and ABS. You have to pay an additional 125,000 rupees to just avoid manual labor of moving up and down your windows.

But that also gave us an idea! A product is only as good as you can position and execute it.

porsche997gt3rs402Here’s a case in point: Porsche will remove the stereo, the air-con, comfortable seats for sporty uncomfortable ones, and stuff that you don’t need to dub it as the track version of the normal Porsche and sell it for far far more. In some cases, it has even gone on to remove interior door knobs in favor of just a red clothe to ‘pull to open’ door. And charges more for this new ‘Track Special’ over the model which has all these luxuries.

Remember the E46 BMW M3 CSL? The air-con in that came as an option!

At this point you’ll be saying; “The writer has lost his mind”, “An idiot!”, “How can you even compare a Porsche with a Corolla you fool!!”, but I am not. What we’re introducing you to is the concept of creating a performance oriented track attack vehicle. And since Indus Motors is going to kill the famous brand of XLi, we’re trying everything we can to save it. This rescue mission is aimed to actually make the XLi into something we might actually want because technically and equipment wise, it is already half-way there. Making the last case for those window-winders, one last hurrah!

What if Indus Motors were to strip the Corolla XLi of not just power windows, and airbags rather, remove everything that is unnecessary and make it a light-weight performance saloon?

  • Remove the current heavy and comfortable seats in favor of sports bucket seats and make it a 4+4 seating arrangement with 3-point harnesses.
  • Remove the interior door handles and take inspiration from 997 911 GT3 RS and have just a ribbon to work as door handles.
  • Remove the infotainment system altogether. Speakers, LCD, and all the useless wiring.
  • Remove the heavy and fat steering wheel for a lighter, more agile sporty steering wheel covered in Alacantara stuff.
  • Remove the fat side-mirrors for slicker and lighter side-mirrors.
  • Remove the hood, add factory supercharger and put the hood back on. The 2NZ-FE engine has plenty of superchargers available to go with it.
  • Remove the current set of wheels in favor of the same size Enkei wheels or the wheels off from US Spec Sports Corolla.
  • Remove the current front and rear bumper, make them look aggressive, Remove all the chrome and collaborate with the boys at PAF (Yes, Pakistan Air Force), have them design more aggressive and aero-dynamic, call them “Front and Rear Air Intakes”, and slap them back on.
  • Remove the current range of color and only offer white with matte vinyl wraps or custom matte colors in fancy names such as, “Shaheen Gray”, or something.
  • Remove the chrome from the XLi badges and write the X in blood red, Li in some other color. Kind of life this: XLi
  • Remove the Ivory interior color scheme in favor of some carbon-fiber wrapping. Not actual carbon-fiber rather wrapping or sticker.
  • Remove Toyota monogram and slap on athe blood red X logo everywhere. Seats, backs, front, fenders.
  • Remove the dull paint from brake calipers and put in some striking neon colors over it.
  • Remove the front axles and put a LSD (Limited skip-differential) on the front.
  • And obviously, slap a PakWheels sticker on the rear window and the car is complete.

Now, yeah, yeah, it won’t the have the power to move Moon closer to Earth but, power will always be triumphed by how the car delivers whatever the power it has on offer.

Performance oriented cars are always lighter than the fully equipped cars. The race cars don’t even have airbags, the XLi already has none of those things and it is just a matter of executing the XLi once again and there you go. Light-weight Performance sedan. Enthusiasts and people will once again fell in love with the XLi despite Indus Motors replacing it with the upcoming Vios.

XLi, in fact Corolla XLi and GLi were always famous for their endurance and durability. We took a 2006 SE Saloon from Karachi to Islamabad and back within 4 days. Veteran PakWheeler ‘Spectra’ and others in Islamabad took a look at it and straight away told us to not take this heap of junk through the motorway as the tyres won’t cope up with the heat at salt range. But, just as we had entered Sindh, the radiator went dry, one cylinder went bust, and yet, it came back to Karachi with simple, WD-40 type maintenance at Gothki.

Even if Indus decides to be foolish and ignores my brilliant plan to make millions and millions, at least they should do this as a tribute to the departing brand and give me my royalties.

Baber K. Khan

An auto enthusiast trying to bring car media mainstream.

  • Alpha Bravo

    totally agreed with the author

  • abbas

    Completely agree with Baber K. Khan

  • HK

    this article is an utter waste of time…….u cant make a cheap sedan a track worthy car just by stripping it off and plugging in a supercharger… the suggestions u gave, man u sound like a ricer to me….

  • Salahuddin

    What a silly article. Complete waste of time. Shows how immature the writer is

  • Sabeeh Ur Rehman Tariq

    Its actually not a bad idea………..

  • Ahmed Hembel

    Actually, you can. And its not cheap, its more than one and a half million.

  • Ahmed Hembel

    As an enthusiast, I like the idea. The real problem comes when you realize the absence of closed tracks in our country. Xli’s are already too notorious for rash driving, a maniac who buys a track oriented Xli could be a danger to public if he has to cope with all his testosterone on public roads. Time to write an article on closed safe tracks!

  • wasted youth

    The idea sounds cool but the problem which the writer ignored is the “Chessis”. This chessis can’t even support a normal 1300cc engine then how can it support a super charged turbo engine. So, it’s best to kick this crap xli out than to make it a mean machine.

  • Fazal Wahab

    You forgot to add a high strength roll cage into it. Also before it actually happens we should have a regulated raceway with proper SOP; cars running there must have all safety equipment in it. Also you forgot to add high performance braking system. You are making it quick.. but we need to stop it too.. 😉

  • Baber

    You’re right. But the supercharger isn’t the one you saw in F&F on Charger. It’s just a retro-fit type one made by Blitz and one other company.
    The engine was sourced from Vitz. Previous gen. The 2NZ-FE produces only 65 ponies, and the SC would jack it up to max 90. But the power delivery would change. And that makes a difference. We can always get the brakes from Altis Corolla and that has way more power than what we’re expecting.

  • Baber

    You’re right. But the supercharger isn’t the one you saw in F&F on Charger. It’s just a retro-fit type one made by Blitz and one other company.

    The engine was sourced from Vitz. Previous gen. The 2NZ-FE produces only 65 ponies, and the SC would jack it up to max 90. But the power delivery would change. And that makes a difference. We can always get the brakes from Altis Corolla and that has way more power
    than what we’re expecting. So the chassis can handle it and the weight reduction can get Enthusiasts results.

  • Baber

    You’re right. But the supercharger isn’t the one you saw in F&F
    on Charger. It’s just a retro-fit type one made by Blitz and one other
    company.

    The engine was sourced from Vitz. Previous gen. The
    2NZ-FE produces only 65 ponies, and the SC would jack it up to max 90.
    But the power delivery would change. And that makes a difference. We can
    always get the brakes from Altis Corolla and that has way more power
    than what we’re expecting. So the chassis can handle it and the weight reduction can get Enthusiasts results.

    You may disagree with me, and I will respect that. But what’s one man’s weird is another man’s fetish. 🙂

  • Baber

    The supercharger isn’t the one you saw in F&F on Charger. It’s just a retro-fit type one made by Blitz and one other company.

    The engine was sourced from Vitz. Previous gen. The 2NZ-FE produces only 65 ponies, and the SC would jack it up to max 90. But the power delivery would change. And that makes a difference. We can always get the brakes from Altis Corolla and that has way more power than what we’re expecting. So the chassis can handle it and the weight reduction can get Enthusiasts results.

    It’s just an idea. What’s one man’s weird is another man’s fetish.

  • Khurram Altaf

    This is one of the best pieces from you Baber!

    Loved the idea of thinking out of the box, that is what PW is all about and should be.

    As mentioned by others, the few details about upgrading brakes and stability are inevitable but those are a given if someone at Indus is brave enough to work on this brilliant idea. And if they do, they have their first buyer.

    Thanks for bringing it up! Bravo!

  • MasroorGilani

    LoL. What did you drink before writing?

  • Kashif

    Bad Idea, Indus is trying to reposition itself so that they can attract more wealthy class. Due to XLI being in the market (which is sub standard) alot of people who wouldn’t like to see their car as a taxi or some sort of cheap trash after spending well earned around 2M are holding back from corolla.

    Although your idea can be implemented in building new “rally” model probably with 2 doors and some extra power like CRZ or better. In this way we Pakistanis will have more choice of models and Indus can keep on building the image of corolla as well 🙂

  • rashid

    we need to do something to make suzuki to improve Mehran thats in a dire need of an overhaul or just needs closing down

    This X Li may not be a bad idea though!

  • khan

    You kidding. .xli is a best car. It is serving pakistan in a good way. I would suggest xli must be improved. 1624000 rs and no power windows and abs in xli.fortunate for toyota there r no other corresponding competing cars or corolla would have not this much market. From decades this minor differences as power windows etc we witnessing.now the time has come to grow. There r other minor things as idle stop system etc should be introduced in gli , altis and xli be upgraded with systems of gli atleast . M just an amateur.all this toyota pakistan knows but it won’t improve.

  • Estapha

    Babar has been playing too much 3D Tuning lately…

  • Baber

    Stalker.

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