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  1. 5 points

    Review Corolla Hybrid 2.0

    The Corolla Hybrid two litre hybrid in Excel trim. This will be my first review of a hybrid and as such there’s quite a lot more technology to learn. I will admit that what drew me to reviewing this car was that it had 180bhp. That in itself gave me some hope that Toyota are now looking to combine hybrid technology with at least some degree of performance. This version is fully loaded and has every option included which puts it at a price of £31,530. This is a lot of money for what is a family hatch back. It does though have a huge amount of features that demonstrate how far things have moved on with car design and features since my now fairly old GT86 was conceived a decade ago. Starting with how it looks seems to be a matter of divided opinion. I think this is because it’s very much of the moment with it’s sharp angles and multi-faceted surfaces. Personally I like it and I think that all it takes is a bit of getting used to. The current Prius was the same when it came out and you can easily see the common styling cues with this car. Upon getting into this car you are met with what is a very nice interior. The seats are good, though not quite as supportive as they may look, but this isn’t a sports car. It does though have sporting pretensions. The dash is a nice layout with a huge screen for settings and sat nav, the regeneration system and internet and Wifi connectivity. What is striking is how far things have moved on from my now six year old GT86 looking very much last decade when it comes to features and infotainment. So, this is a new era with every bell and whistle you could imagine but first I’d rather cover stuff that I’m familiar with, i.e., how does it drive and how does it handle on the road. I should firstly point out that this car has three drive modes. Eco, which relaxes throttle input and steering weight, then there is ‘Normal’ which is really the default mode. I did try driving this car in Eco mode briefly, but it was just a bit slack and wooly in terms of response, normal felt more natural. Then there is Sport mode which makes the dash go a racy red. Sport mode really sharpens up the throttle and also seems to tighten the steering, but maybe it just adds a bit more weight. Weight doesn’t mean feel of course, but to a point you feel more connected. This car has a constantly variable transmission (CVT). Now CVT’s are generally not popular amongst car enthusiasts as they constantly vary the gear ratio, which can mean, when you floor it the revs soar and it feels like the car has a slipping clutch. Toyota have been smart with this one though and given it steps, so that it feels like gears. This may seem like an automotive backwards step, but it simply highlights that drivers do not like CVT’s and making it work more like a conventional automatic is what people prefer. In reality it’s like the smoothest auto you’ve ever driven as it fakes going up a gear. It works well in practice though. Also and I did wonder if this was something of a gimmick, it has flappy paddles so you can go into manual mode. On a CVT? Yep! In practice this is a bit of a gimmick when accelerating as it becomes a bit meaningless every time you get on the throttle. However when pressing on and when you want to hold a gear as you lift off the throttle it’s actually useful, simply for the control aspect. On the downhill on the Cat and Fiddle road, this is where is was really useful to me. In drive mode as soon as you lift off the throttle the engine disengages which does not inspire confidence when pushing on. Now when I talk about driving this car with some vigour, I really did, but this is not a sports car, but it does have a good turn of pace. It’s a bit weird the first time you pull away silently on electric power and there is no doubt the electric motor does a great job of filling in the torque curve when you put your foot down. I would say it feels a bit like a petrol turbo, or perhaps a turbo diesel in terms of characteristics. The main punch of the engine is the mid-range, not the top end. Once you know this, you can use it to good effect. The other thing to mention is the brakes. Due to the regeneration system, the brake does feel a bit digital in application in that it does feel a bit on/off. It maybe that the servo is a bit too keen, but it did take me a little time to get smooth with the brakes. Let’s talk about handling. When I drove this car without knowing it’s weight, I guessed it would be around 1500kgs or perhaps more. I guess that’s an assumption of it must be heavy due to the batteries and all the hybrid stuff. However it does actually weigh in a mere 100kg heavier than my GT86 at 1370kg. What surprised me on the road, was that it actually felt heavier. I wonder if this is due to more of the weight being in the nose of the car? Turn in to corners however is actually not bad at all. The car will wash into understeer if you continue to push. There is an element of learning to trust that the car will follow its nose, which is due in part to a lack of feel, so once you know the car will do it, you build trust that way. The chassis itself is not particularly reactive, but quite benign. I would say it’s a step in the right direction for Toyota, but there is still some way to go to make it an engaging car to drive. It’s the kind of car you can hustle, it is capable, but you are unlikely to get up at 6am on a sunny Sunday morning for the hell of it. Handling is safe and predictable, the car is stable and responds relatively well to direction changes. Perhaps a Gazoo Racing version or maybe even a GRMN version could really up the game? The new Corolla is actually a pretty good car. As a daily proposition it makes a lot of sense. Good performance, strong economy as well as a whole range of safety features. It has impact protection where it will do an emergency stop if you blindly drive at a stationary car or wall, though I was asked not to test this! The most interesting feature though is the lane trace assist coupled with radar cruise control. Let me explain. We are all aware what radar cruise control is and this is a great feature if you want to give your feet a rest in traffic. Also though with the lane trace assist on, the car will track the lanes ahead and actually steer for you. As well having the car for an hour for the blast over the Cat and Fiddle, I also had it for 24 hours and took it to work for a day. There was on the M60 in the morning and set the cruise control and lane trace assist on and the car is now driving itself autonomously. It feels like a leap of faith the first time you try it, though you still need to lightly hold the wheel or the car gets irritable with you flashing warnings up on the dashboard! It really is amazing technology and it really will steer you round a tight slip road if you try it. I particularly liked the radar cruise control as it means the car will deal with traffic all by itself, really taking the effort out of it. The trick I found was to set the cruise to the maximum speed for the road and let the electronics do the rest. What I would say about all this tech is that it can be a bit harsh braking for you and accelerating and it does tend to operate on the conservative side. I have been told though that you can adjust the sensitivity of the radar cruise. It does tend to make you look like a less experienced driver as for example driving a car myself, my anticipation and use of controls is far more refined and where I would simply lift for a few seconds the Corolla will brake. It is smooth though, but I feel this technology needs a bit more refinement which doubtless will come in time. Here's an example how it works: I am a purist at heart, driving a manual rear wheel drive sports coupe. But I found it really interesting to try what is the technology of the present and will lead the way in the future. I liked the Corolla, it has a great combination of comfort, ease of use and also a good turn of speed which I’m sure surprised a few drivers. Importantly for me it didn’t feel slow. Now I’ve tried the 1.8 Hybrid in the Toyota CH-R which has 120bhp. The two litre engine with 180bhp makes a big difference and will undoubtedly make this car far more appealing to those like me who like to have a reasonable amount of power to give you more options when you need it. The car I tested had every option including a polycarbonate full length sun roof and the upgraded JBL audio system which did sound really good. Still no Apple Car Play though which seems to be the thing everyone wants. The display itself is excellent. Sat nav is usual Toyota fair, there is the option of using the infotainment as a Wifi router which may be a good idea, but would need a subscription of some sort to enable this. The other crazy option and this did make me chuckle is the parking assist. This means the car will reverse parallel park for you when you pass an identified space. Again this is akin to a leap of faith the first time you try it. The dash will tell you to go forward and then stop. You select reverse and guide the car in modulating the speed on the brake. The car then steers for you swiftly putting you in the space. Incredibly impressive and Richard and I looked at each other in disbelief the first time I tried it! Here's how it works: The new Corolla is a car that is designed to have a broad appeal to drivers who want good economy safety and also some sense of style with excellent reliability. It does the job very well. Yes it’s more geared to the practicalities of driving rather than the passion of it, but it is a step in the right direction. I’d love to see a practical car that is exciting to drive, but maybe I’m a little hardcore in my approach and fully understand I’m a long way from ever being your average motorist. Whilst I may see this as a good thing, I can absolutely see how this car would appeal to those in need of a more practical and comfortable car than I. There will be a GR version with sharper handling which is great. I’m really hoping there will be a GRMN version but we shall have to wait and see. Pic of underboot floor. On the two litre the battery is in the boot. The sensors for collision warning system and lane trace assist. Polycarbonate sunroof. It has a blind too. My Eco score after a blast down the Cat & Fiddle! Still achieved 46/7mpg though!
  2. 4 points
    Finally made it back home after a looong drive Really interesting day.. great experience.. thanks for organising VAD Good to meet you too Will! See you guys around.. EDIT: Also many thanks to angelina gavin brz and co for the tips and advice..
  3. 4 points
    I have confirmed the reservation. See you there guys
  4. 4 points
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. 4 points
    I just e-mailed James at Amber Performance and yes - it's off their ramp! LOL
  6. 3 points

    Big brake kit time?

    That's because the well designed kits aren't designed to shift bias. You use piston area and disc size to maintain the balance, a BBK isn't primarily for improved braking distances, it's to get the heat out the system for longevity.
  7. 3 points
    It was indeed a good day, we should do it again, good to have couple GT86s and practice in safe and friendly environment. Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
  8. 3 points

    Review Corolla Hybrid 2.0

    On my drive to work without really trying I saw 67.4mpg. That's a mix of rush hour traffic, smart motorway limits for half a 20 mile journey. I reckon I could have easily got more than that. I noticed that with cruise control on the motorway in a 50mph smart motorway limit it actually cruised on electric which was quite impressive. I average around 40mpg in my GT86 on the same trip. I'm sure I could push it over 70mpg if I tried.
  9. 3 points

    Smudge's supercharged V8 build

    Last few days have been spent stripping down the engine completely, ready for inspection, measuring and ensuring everything is good before doing anything major. Was good fun getting my hands dirty for the 1st time in a while, and good to see the ins and outs of the engine too. Rogue Motorsport measured all the bores, crank and pistons today. Happy to report that everything is as good as it can be, meaning I'll go ahead and get everything professionally cleaned and painted up before we start the build itself. Just waiting on the new oil pump to arrive and need to order some new OEM rings now we know the gap measurements are good.
  10. 3 points

    Deacons '86

    Had an amazing day at Anglesey on Monday. It's the first time I've been but I'd definitely like to go back. I spent the majority of the day trying to get my head around the correct lines and even by the end there were still several corners I wasnt entirely sure about. Here's a video from my second session of the day:- Plenty of room for improvement! A couple of photos from the day too. I was the only 86 there which seems to be quite rare on most trackdays now.
  11. 2 points
    Hope Fuel have stocked up with cake..........especially as it's Lois's birthday!!
  12. 2 points

    Big brake kit time?

    Admittedly I have a charged car. However I started with DS2500 pads on stock callipers. 2 laps of donny and they were shot so much fade! Pedal always felt wooden from cold. I then upped the game to carbotech XP10 pads, I removed the disc stone guards and put on GT3 cooling ducts. These were night and day compared to the DS2500, bite was always there and was consistent which made modulation easy. I didn't get any fade when I did brands or Cadwell ect, the tyres would give up before the brakes did! However when it came to man sized stops I was getting fade, this was on the Nurburging GP into T1 hairpin which was the biggest brake in F1, and Rockingham T1, when you had come off the banking into the hairpin. The common theme is a hairpin big speed 150mph to 30ish? Could have lived with this perhaps but I got through them fast, they did not last long at all. We are talking 4 track days. These pads arent cheap and I didnt see that as sustainable..... For a spot of context: The car I came from before the GT86 was a MK3 MX5. Even more track biased. The MX5 was on stock discs and callipers, and Carbotech XP8 pads. This car was around 1100kg, and 190 HP at the fly. It used pretty much the same size disc as the GT86. 290mm x 24mm, the MX5 was a single pot slider the GT86 a twin pot slider. The MX5 ran Carbotech XP8 pads, and did a complete 10 track day season about 200 track miles per day, and never suffered fade and did a season on a single set of pads. So the 86 is 150-200kg heavier than the MX5, and has another 70hp? and its was running a very similar sized disc and pad which is going to have a similar thermal capacity. Therefore to gain more thermal capacity a BBK is the only way. This would lead to no fade, greater consistency and lower pad wear. Yes I could have gone for a higher rated pad, it may have stopped the fade, however it was going to generate more heat and probably wear out as quick if not quicker. I bit the bullet and for the Rayland BBK, Cp9200 calliper and a 330mm disc. I am using a Mintex F4R pad, these are fairly aggressive but cost around £100 so nice and cheap. The brake fade is gone, the consistency is spot on every time making modulation easy, they look great, the wear is low. Oh and the POWER. These rip your face off when you throw out the anker, its my favourite bit of the car. So you can now stop faster, with no fade lap after lap until the tyres give up. Best track day upgrade for the car!! I would not bother if your not a keen track day goer though. If you do 1 or 2 a year for fun and your not "fast" put a decent set of pads on take the disc stone guards off and put some £20 GT3 ducts on and enjoy. No matter what brakes you have all ways use decent fluid, you do not want to boil it and end up with no brakes!!! I use RBF600, and always bleed a pedals worth out the calliper when I have the wheels off as thats where its going to boil.
  13. 2 points

    PFC.08 brake pads

    Thought I'd add a little mini review of these pads as I've been blown away by there performance. The PFC.08 pad are marketed as an endurance pad and are the pad used in the TMG Cup cars. I've had them on my car now for about 1000 Road miles and 600 track miles. They were fitted at the same time as a new set of Stoptech Centric blank rear discs and National Auto grooved front discs. I run Ate type 200 brake fluid. Cold bite - I was concerned that these pads would be a liability from cold but that has proved unfounded and in fact I have found them to give more cold bite than the Project Mu Hc800+ front and rear pads I ran previously. Noise - the pads do occasionally squeal a little but nowhere near as bad as I had expected from the reviews I'd read on line. I would say the squeal is a little less than I got from the OEM pads and they do not squeal all the time. Wear - I haven't taken them out to measure them since fitting but from a visual inspection the pads seem to be wearing very well (as would be expected from an endurance pad I guess). I'd been warned that they eat discs but so far the disc wear seems reasonable - there is no liping on the discs so far. The front discs do have some small heat expansion crazing but again, nothing overly unexpected for hard track use (picture below). Stopping power - this is one of the areas these have really blown me away in. The stopping power is simply amazing. On my first trackday with them fitted I found I was braking far too early using the points I'd had to use with the previous HC800+ pads. The pads can easily exceed the tyre grip provided by the AD08RS's I currently run (again, thinking of their use on the 86 Cup cars running slicks, this makes sense). Fade - I haven't experienced any fade with these pads on the four trackdays I've done so far, two of which were in 30+ degree temperatures at Bedord which has some quite high speed stops (two in quite quick succession after each other). I've been running maximum 30 minute sessions so whether fade would become more evident on longer sessions I couldn't say (for me, 30 minutes and I'm done!) Overall, I've been so blown away by how well these perform that my plans for a BBK have now gone right to the bottom of the list. Recommended as an option for anyone who tracks and doesn't want the extra initial expense of a BBK or the potential hassle with altering brake bias by just going with a kit that fits rather than one matched to the car.
  14. 2 points
    What a day! Really enjoyed that today. Felt like I've connected more with the car, and that there's so much more to learn that I first realised! Cheers for organising the night before Vad, hope you get the TD manifold issue sorted Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
  15. 2 points
    Subota Boy

    Review Corolla Hybrid 2.0

    That is a great review, Lauren. We recently did a driving experience at the Longcross test track in Surrey, which allowed us to test the limits of the 2 litre hybrid. I thought you had evaluated the car extremely well. Over an undulating twisty road, the car felt unstickable and I was impressed with the Falken? tyres fitted. The extra weight of the hybrid batteries fitted low down in the chassis certainly helped with this, i felt, and provides a noticeable handling difference between the hybrid and non-hybrid C-HR. Will we change our C-HR for a Corolla? Well the extra power is certainly tempting. I was told that the 2 litre in the C-HR will not be as exploitable as there are more limitations to the suspension tuning on the C-HR for obvious reasons (high rider). Hope you don't mind me adding to your thread!!!
  16. 2 points
    You could also use carwow to get a load off the corolla. I managed to get the touring sports with the JBL speakers and Pano roof for near enough £29k
  17. 2 points
    Oh, hello did you mention cake? 🍰 Please add me to the list Keith
  18. 2 points
    A big thank you to all who came last night, was a great evening weather was perfect for late night standing in the car park. Hope you all had a great evening. It was nice you chose to spend an evening with your fellow club members rather than in the Caribbean like some other people. [emoji3] Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  19. 2 points

    TD UEL Header package

    Booked in for Thursday. Looking forward to it. Never had car mapped before, let alone stuck on a dyno!
  20. 2 points

    Deacons '86

    Got the head unit fitted with help from @Dilan and Ariston from the FB group. Genuinely can't belive the difference in sound quality over oem!
  21. 1 point
    Make that 9 and 4 !!😊
  22. 1 point

    Sussex newbie

    Not all of us
  23. 1 point

    Deacons '86

    I did another Bedford trackday on Tuesday with @VAD17 and @will300. The weather was very hot (33° for most of the day!). I did about 170 miles on track. Car was faultless and oil temps peaked at a maximum of 121°. First video is a whole session most of which I spent chasing after a Caterfield of some description. Next is a bit of another session chasing after an Elise and Focus (apologies for the bug splattered on the camera lens!) After these four trackdays in just over a month I'm hoping to maybe sneak in Donnington at the start of November but then I'm done for this year. Time to start counting down the days for next year's trackdays!
  24. 1 point

    So.... talk manifolds to me

    I got the black carbon tips - i waited a month for them - i could've had red tips off the shelf straight away but I wanted the black.
  25. 1 point

    Tuning Developments - Super Res Catback

    Great description, I like the details, thanks 👌