What is slow, underrated, and frankly quite annoying, especially when encountered in the middle of the road while you are in a hurry to get from point A to point B without killing anyone? Probably a Corolla driven by an elderly on the way back from the market, bringing back some fish and onions for his wife to cook for dinner.
The thing about sleeper cars are just that; you are simply overlooking them as something that’s not quite as menacing comparing to other cars which sport high modification capability and bigger capacity engines.
The popular choice would always be the menacing VTEC machines, with their DOHC VTEC system that is always ready for road domination, along with the turbo-charged machines coming from the line of RB26 and around that, the four-wheel drive Evolutions and boxer-engined machines ready to dominate anything given to them on the track or off the tarmac.
Anything-below the two liter marks are often ignored, with comments such as ‘not enough power’ and ‘very low modification capability’.
Let’s just skip the B16, 4G91 and SR16 engines for this context to actually make some sense.
Not many knows how a certain engine, coming all the way from the land of the rising sun, is capable to deliver more than enough performance for even the most demanding of motorsport enthusiast.
That fact changed soon after the Initial-D series came to be very popular in Malaysia, with the 4AGE 16V engine found in the AE86 often being referred to as the most popular engine in its category, with its high RPM capability and superb engine response.
One of the finest examples of how the engine is capable to deliver anything to the wheels would be the Hasselgren built 4AGE 16V for the AE86, to be used in drifting and circuit action.
But what of its close cousin, the one with that extra intake valve. Yeap, the 4AGE 20V.
Coming from the AE101 Levin and various other Toyota models, many that bought the AE101 SEG preferred the 20V engine compared to the 4E engine that came with the car. The 20V came in to different variants; the Silvertop (identified by the silver-colored head) and the Blacktop (as the name suggest).
There are differences, such as different compression ratios and using five-valves per cylinder instead of four, with three intakes valves and two for exhaust.
Among the differences in the Blacktop are the different tuning, with small differences in design, such as the diameter of the throttle bodies and intake cam lifts, and also produces more horses on the get-go. This particular Corolla chosen the Blacktop variant for that extra feel, and the owner even dropped in a twin-pipe exhaust system to make the drive a little quicker.
The engine is kept stock while the three-point bar is installed for a little extra rigidity in the chassis. An Apexi SAFC II was installed to monitor the air flow into the engine, and added some options to tune the fuel intake for a little better response.
Sending the power to the front wheels is the five-speed manual transmission that is often preferred by many over the six-speed as it has longer ratios and is a little more robust.
Governing the ride and handling at all four corners are a set of GAB full-race suspension that come with hi-lo soft hard adjustable options, to get the right feel for the sedan. The brakes are kept at stock, as some would say the response from the single-pot Toyota calipers are quicker comparing to the twin-pot system from the same brand.
For more wheel options, the owner replaced the stock four-lug hub with the five-lug wheel hub. SSR Racing 18-inch wheels were chosen for the job, and protected by Pro Dub wheel protectors, with 225/40 rubbers for the front, and 255/40 rubbers for the rear, perfect for keeping the rear end on tow.
Moving into the cockpit, SSCUS buckets are used to keep the driver in the car, and the rear seats are custom wrapped with color-coded upholstery to sync with the rest of the car. A New Sound Quest audio system provides the entertainment for the occupants while the driver revs up the engine for some driving action.
The whole exterior has been fitted with customized body kit inspired by the famous Wald International body kits and decorated completely with Yukes body decals, giving the Corolla a rather different outlook comparing to the other boring looking SEGs out there.
Hyperfacts! Car: Toyota Corolla SEG Engine Mods: 4AGE 20V, twin pipe exhaust system Electronics: Apexi SAFC II Transmission: Five-speed manual Chassis & Handling: GAB full-race suspension Brakes: Stock Wheels & Tyres: Five-lug wheel hub conversion, 18-inch SSR Racing wheels, Pro Dub wheel protectors, 225/40/18 (front) and 255/40/18 (rear) Interior: SSCUS racing seats, custom wrapped rear seats, New Sound Quest audio system Exterior: Custom Wald International-inspired body kit, complete Yukes body decals