The current Toyota Corolla hasn’t been with us for very long. The aggressive-looking five-door hatchback model first made its debut in the middle of 2018, and has since been joined by a similarly wide-mouthed four-door sedan variant. Despite its relative youth and visual edge, Toyota has decided to make the new Corolla a little spicier still with a new special-edition hatchback for 2021. The automaker has gone the literal route naming the car, too, dubbing it the Toyota Corolla Special Edition. You could fit your many better name ideas in the Corolla’s spacious cargo area, but we digress.
At least the paint job is sweet—both in name and appearance. Every 2021 Toyota Corolla hatchback Special Edition will wear Supersonic Red paint, which in these photos resembles Mazda’s gorgeous Soul Red hue. Each one also gets sportier looking side skirts, some extra cladding on the front bumper for a slightly angrier demeanor, and a very racey spoiler out back. There’s also the requisite “Special Edition” badge on the hatch itself.
However, if you were expecting some performance-enhancing goodies to match the chili-pepper looks, you’re going to be disappointed. Since this isn’t a TRD or GR product (or the expected GR Corolla hot hatch model), Toyota hit the pause button after applying the cosmetic upgrades.
Toyota is only going to build 1,500 of the Special Editions, and they’ll all be based on the Corolla’s SE CVT trim, which starts at $22,345. (So, um, no manual transmission, a highlight of the Corolla hatch lineup.) That said, Toyota didn’t tell us how much more the Special Edition treatment will cost beyond that baseline; expect to pay more, at least.
Next to the Special Edition, the 2021 Corolla lineup also sees a number of changes (which also apply to the Supersonic Red examples). There is a new no-cost enhanced cargo option that adds another 6 cubic feet of storage space to any hatch save for the Nightshade models, which will be coming back for 2021. Outside of the Special Edition, there are a few new color options, including Magnetic Gray Metallic and Wind Chill Pearl, both of which can be paired with a contrast-color black roof. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Toyota is adding a rear seat-mounted side airbag for 2021, giving the Corolla a total of 10 airbags inside.
While we do wish we could row our own gears in this particular special edition Corolla, we’re holding out hope that maybe Toyota’s cooking up a special edition for the manual car somewhere. For now we’ll just stop and admire the new Special Edition’s oh-so-clean paint job.