2001 Toyota Corolla Fielder Z-Aerotourer – Delivering the Goods – 126
Packing 166kW (220hp) at the front treads, Boyd Whittaker’s Corolla wagon goes from A to B. fast
Mention the words “Toyota station wagon” to your average guy or gal on the import scene and their first thought will probably be of a Courier post Caldina parked over the curb on Queen Street, covered in black diesel dust, hazard lights on. I have to admit I’ve never really been a huge fan of the trusty wagon and thought there was no point in owning one unless you had family and a mutt to cart around. But this little demon has changed all that.
Boyd Whittaker’s 2001 Corolla Z-Aerotourer is hardly what you’d fill with kids and the family tent, though, and you sure as hell wouldn’t load it up with courier boxes. Think more along the lines of a full-on import weapon with a solid 166kW at the front treads and a respectable 1:15 lap time at Pukekohe in full street trim. Impressive figures from what started out as a standard 1800cc twin cam 2ZZ-GE mill, as found in the Celicas of a few years ago. Okay, so some pretty serious work has gone on under the hood to get around 200 flywheel kilowatts, but what’s even more impressive is that the work doesn’t just stop at the engine. It’s what’s under the skin that counts and not a dime has been spared at any stage during this quality build.
Pop the hood and you’ll notice two things straight away: where the majority of the new-found horses have come from, and the fact that it’s like a rolling Blitz showroom under there. For starters, a nice, fat, shiny supercharger kit fed by custom polished pipework is what provides that extra motivation from the 2ZZ engine and, with the whole package finished off with blue silicone joiners, it’s a sight for sore eyes. Take a nosey further up front and you’ll also spy a chunky Blitz front-mount intercooler with even more custom pipework, which then weaves its way back to the polished Blitz intake manifold. All pretty trick equipment, right? True, but it doesn’t stop there because the rest of the usual avenues for gaining power have been well-explored, with a Blitz air filter and air flow meter allowing maximum inlet flow and a Blitz Super Sequential dump valve venting the excess pressure straight back out into the atmosphere. Adding to the Blitz-fest is a full ECU upgrade, which works in tandem with a high-flow fuel pump to ensure a plentiful supply of fuel to the engine. Finishing off the Blitz box of tricks is an alloy sump, just to keep the underside looking as good as what you see up top.
Getting rid of unwanted gas is not just what you aim for after a heavy night on the Guinness — it’s a necessity if you want to free up those ponies, and that’s exactly what Boyd has opted for with his Aerotourer. The Glenfield exhaust aces at Al’s Mufflers were tasked with the responsibility, and they came up with a custom 2.5-inch mandrel bent system, complete with its dumpy tip, which is fed by a 4-2-1 set of free-flowing custom extractors — all very tidy and just perfect for ridding the engine of its spent gasses.
A quality build-up is not just about making the power though — it’s about getting it to the ground. So keeping true to form, Boyd has gone all the way with the drivetrain as well. The 6-speeder has been fully rebuilt with new bearings, while a lightened flywheel hooks up to an Exedy five-puck ceramic clutch to make sure that all 166 kilowatts find their way to the road. Helping along the way is a Cusco LSD coupled with a factory upgrade kit to keep that extra power in check. It’s no mean feat keeping a feisty front-wheel drive connected to the road, and the drivetrain can only help up to a certain point, so it’s no surprise that in keeping with the rest of the theme, Boyd’s suspension setup is well and truly at the top of the game.
Instead of opting for the standard 50mm drop kit, Boyd chose a set of C-One fully adjustable coilovers that are helped along by a Cusco front strut brace to give the front end a little extra rigidity. Together they add a level of adjustability and control that give the Corolla the handling Toyota wished to grace its family wagon with from the factory. Finishing off the road-holding duties is an unbelievably good-looking set of RS rims by ANZ, which come in at a handy 18×8.5 inches. That’s more than enough wheel for what really is a light car, especially when they’re wrapped up in a set of sticky 225/35ZR18 Bridgestone Potenza Grid III rubber. I seriously doubt that you could ever find a better looking set of wheels for this car. They work so well with the discreet kit on the car, too; the side skirts and front and rear lips are obvious enough to add that little extra but not so over the top that the focus is taken away from the wheels.
The quality continues nicely inside, with a full assortment of big names gracing the cabin. Retro Products has slotted in a pair of dark grey suede Recaro SS2 seats, which are a welcome replacement for the standard units, while a TRD gearknob and Omori boost gauge add that little extra, just to let any passengers know that this is anything but a standard Corolla — presuming the 4.8-second 0-100kph time hasn’t already given that game away! When have you ever been in a Corolla wagon that can nail 100kph in less than five seconds? Do me a favour and think about that one for a while. Check out the centre console and you’ll find the A’PEXi S-AFC II controller, about the best thing since sliced bread when it comes to controlling airflow and boost. Sitting below that is an A’PEXi RSM meter that never fails to impress with its multiple RPM/speed readouts!nothing like a little party trick to impress the passengers when the mood takes you.
It’s pretty clear that the owner of this Corolla hasn’t exactly spared the change with his ride — and nothing reinforces that feeling more than the spec sheet for his tidy audio setup. A Panasonic 6.5-inch DVD/CD/MP3 multimedia screen heads up the system with its full readout capabilities, while a host of quality gear provides the power and tunes. The chunky JBL GT4 12-inch boxed sub in the boot is powered up nicely thanks to a Pioneer two-channel (bridged to 380W RMS) amp, while the JBL Power Series 6.5-inch splits in both the front and rear doors are taken care of by a Sherwood 4x80W RMS amp — all in all a solid setup that has no problem keeping the owner happy.
With Boyd being in the business, security has been well looked after, thanks to an AVS S5 alarm system with every extra you can possibly add on working in tandem with a Snitch real-time GPS tracking system. In other words, don’t even bother trying to get your hands on this car unless your real intention is to tempt a hairy, undersexed guy in the local prison to lay his hands on you.
So that’s it sports fans. A Corolla wagon might not have been my cup of tea to begin with, but this is a perfect example of what makes the import scene so special. Take a car that really is pretty innocuous, add a little imagination and a few dollars (okay, a lot of dollars), and you have yourself a ride that can hold its own against pretty much anything on the road. With that kind of 0-100kph time, you’re looking at a car that could make a fool of an Audi RS6 driver up to the legal limit but for about a fifth of the price. Not bad for an 1800cc engine, right?
2001 Toyota Corolla Fielder Z-Aerotourer – Specifications
Engine: Toyota 2ZZ-GE, 1.8-litre DOHC 16V VVTL-I, Blitz supercharger & pulley system, Blitz front-mount intercooler & piping, Blitz alloy sump, Blitz intake manifold, Blitz air filter, Blitz air flow meter, Blitz SS blow-off valve, Blitz ECU upgrade, high volume fuel pump, custom 4-2-1 extractors, custom 63mm mandrel bent exhaust, Simota oil catch can
Driveline: Toyota 6-speed C/R gearbox, Exedy 5-puck ceramic clutch, lightweight flywheel, Cusco limited slip diff,
Suspension/Brakes: C-ONE adjustable coil-over shocks/springs, Cusco front strut brace, factory 4-wheel disc brakes, EBC brake pads
Wheels/Tyres: 18×8.5-inch ANZ RS alloys, 225/35R18 Bridgestone Potenza G-III tyres
Exterior: Factory Z-Aerotourer front bumper spoiler, side skirts, rear bumper spoiler
Interior: Recaro SS2 front seats, A’PEXi RSM, A’PEXi S-AFC II, TRD gear knob, Omori boost meter, tinted glass
ICE: Panasonic multimedia head unit/screen DVD/CD MP3, JBL Power Series 6.5-inch front/rear components, Sherwood 4x80W RMS amplifier, Pioneer 2-channel bridged 380W RMS amplifier, JBL GT 12-inch subwoofer/enclosure, AVS S5 alarm system, Snitch real-time GPS tracking system
Performance: Dyno Power — 166kW @ wheels, Pukekohe — 75-seconds (full road trim), 0-100kph — 4.8 seconds
BOYD WHITTAKER – Owner Details
Occupation: Business Development Manager
Previously Owned Cars: Ford Falcon XB, Ford Cortina Mk2 GTE, Ford Laser TX-3, Toyota MR-2, Subaru Legacy GT, Toyota Starlet Si, De Tomaso Charade, Nissan Pulsar GTi, Honda City Turbo, Toyota Carib, BMW E30 Motorsport, 2x Toyota Corolla Z-Aerotourer, Toyota Corolla GT and a bunch of bikes
Dream Car: Audi RS4 S/W
Boyd Thanks: Ham @ City Cars Grey Lynn, Nev & crew @ Firestone Performance Centre Takapuna, Gavin & Terri @ Al’s Mufflers, Kevin & Rach @AVS alarms, Don & Bryan @Automotive Transmissions, Brian @ Cusco-Mazsport, Blitz NZ, Panasonic NZ, Snitch GPS Tracking ,Tint-A-Car Grey Lynn, Darren @ Autocolour European, John Gorst @ BNT, Wassa, Soichi @ ST-Hitec and Rob for putting so much time and effort into the build! Special thanks to my lovely lady Brooke & to my Mum.
Words: Rob Dawson, Photos: Adam Croy