It’s, by far, the most extreme Corolla that you’ll probably ever lay eyes on

When you’re an automaker, having a car that is in continuous production for 50 years is one hell of a feat. For Toyota, that accomplishment goes to the Corolla, which just so happened to turn 50 years old this year. Originally offered as a subcompact, the Corolla stuck to its original segment until 1991, when Toyota ushered in the seventh-generation model as a true compact. Since then, it’s gone through four generational evolutions with the 11th-gen model being introduced to the U.S. for the 2014 model year. The Corolla got some minor exterior changes for 2017, but Toyota apparently put more interest in its presence at SEMA and has created what must be the craziest Corolla that you’ll ever lay eyes one. Dubbed the Corolla XTREME, this baby boasts a two-door configuration (yes, you read that right,) a custom interior, custom sound system, and a desire to make you say “WTF is that thing?”

Of course, this kind of concept doesn’t show up out of the blue. It only came to be thanks to this year’s SEMA show, which has –in all honestly – turned out to be the craziest event of the year for modified vehicles and concepts. Sure, there are a few lazy concepts floating around here and there, but manufacturers have really outdone themselves in most cases, and this insanely custom Toyota Corolla is a prime example of Toyota going the extra mile.

This concept will certainly make you question everything you’ve even thought about the Corolla, but that’s kind of the point. This certainly isn’t something you’ll see every day and, to be honest, you probably wouldn’t want to either. But, It is surely garnering some needed attention at Toyota’s booth. Don’t give Toyota too much credit, though; this isn’t something that Toyota was able to come up with itself. Jeremy Lookofsky of Cartel Customs out of Simi Valley, California had his very talented hands all over this project. So, let’s take a look and see what Lookofsky and Toyota cooked up with this wild, one-of-a-kind concept.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Corolla XTREME.


Toyota has actually said very little about this concept, but you can’t really be mad, as the whole point of a concept is take it all in for yourself. And, that’s exactly what you must do with the Corolla XTREME. It’s obviously based on the 2017 Corolla as evidenced by the front fascia design and slightly more aggressive headlights. To explain just how custom the XTREME is, the only stock features left over is the front and rear fascia and the shape of the headlight lenses. Everything else has been changed.

It’s obviously based on the 2017 Corolla as evidenced by the front fascia design and slightly more aggressive headlights.

To start off on the simple side of things, the Corolla XTREME has a two-tone finish with red on top and a variation of gray on the bottom. Keeping things fairly even, the 10-spoke wheels have been finished in the same red color as the top half of the concept. The front grille and corner vents carry over with gloss black from the production model, but out back, the exhaust has been rerouted to have a centralized, dual pipe exit with red-tinted tips. On to the more extensive modifications, one can’t help but notice the lack of four doors and the addition of a single, rather small door on each side.

This crazy modification obviously took some doing, and as such, the B-pillar is now non-existent while the Corolla’s oddly small front fenders have actually gotten smaller to accommodate the changes to the side profile. There’s now a small, rectangular door that is void of a door handle and side-view mirror. The rear quarter now blends seamlessly into what was once a kick panel. The wheel arches still have that notable contour, but they blend off into the side as opposed to following through to the bottom of the car. If it wasn’t for the awkward looking door, this “coupe” would actually look pretty damn cool. Overall, the upper portion of the side profile reminds me of older 70’s-era coupes or even a model like the 1978 Jaguar XJ V-12 Coupe, for instance.

The roof looks to have a rather large moonroof, while the rear deck lid has been customized with a square cutout in the middle of that integrated rear fin. The inside of the headlight units have been painted in red to match the upper profile, and the insert on the rear fascia now features diffuser-like fins with the dual exhaust exiting right in the middle.


Inside, the first thing you can spot is the massive amount of leather everywhere. The front seats have been replaced with racing seats from an unknown supplier and a primarily red with black inserts in the center. The center console has been replaced by a “unique floating unit” and is also wrapped in leather. It does appear as if the top of the center console has received the Alcantara treatment. The hand brake and shift knob get leather boots. At least Toyota did right and used a model equipped with a six-speed manual! The custom door trim panels are outlined in black leather with red leather inserts. The dash is primarily black but appears to be accented with red HVAC vents. We don’t have a full view of the steering wheel, but it appears to be wrapped in red leather and may have black accents.

Side-by-side interior Corolla XTREME vs Standard Corolla

To the rear, the bench seat has been completely removed, and a custom JBL audio system takes its place. It looks like there are two 12-inch subwoofers mounted to the back while either one large, or two smaller amplifiers take up the area that is normally reserved for the seat cushions. All told, this is a pretty wild, yet oddly functional interior and this car would certainly be a hit at just about any car show. I can’t move on, however, without noting that this thing has no side windows whatsoever, so it’s definitely not something you would want to take out on a gloomy day, that’s for sure.


There’s no word as to what was actually modified under the hood, but a quick look at the under-hood shot reveals a very interesting engine compartment. Obviously, the engine you’re looking at here is the standard 1.8-liter engine, but, there’s a little more to it than that. The first thing I noticed is that the color of the engine bay is the same as the lower exterior, which indicates that the lower exterior color is a stock option. But, that’s not what is important here. Look into the top right corner of the engine bay. Do you see that? That’s a turbocharger, which means this baby has a little more than the sluggish 132 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque available in the production model. An increase of what extent is unknown, but we know at least part of the exhaust is custom too (indicated by the center exhaust outlet.)

2016 Toyota Corolla XTREME High Resolution Drivetrain
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This baby has a little more than the sluggish 132 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque available in the production model.

That exhaust system could just be a cat-back system, but the addition of a turbo means some modifications to the exhaust manifold or exhaust down pipe, so the whole exhaust system could be custom. There is also a blow-off valve or maybe a small electric turbo located just ahead of the turbo, and you can make out some red intercooler piping just ahead of the fuse box. The oil dipstick handle has also be painted red. Shockingly, nobody thought to repaint the engine cover, which could have added a lot of flare to the under-hood appearance. Personally, I would have painted the engine cover and the intake manifold in red. Or, I would have removed the engine cover all together, and painted the valve cover and intake manifold red. But, with all of the other extensive modifications, you can’t say much about a few unpainted items.

On a side note, I want to point out that the battery as clearly been relocated, most likely to the trunk. It was clearly required thanks to that blow-off valve or electric turbo but is also pretty common among those who add powerful audio systems. It’s much easier to have the battery located closer to the amplifiers and helps to limit the possibility of resistance in the power supply wires going to the amplifiers.


2016 Toyota Corolla XTREME High Resolution Exterior
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With all of the concepts being announced as part of this year’s SEMA show, it’s really hard to pick out one or two favorites, but to go along with models like the Chevy Camaro Slammer Concept, Dodge Durango Shaker Concept, and the Dodge Shakedown Challenger, the Corolla XTREME is definitely going on my favorite list. Not because it’s a Toyota or a Corolla, but because it’s so heavily modified that it definitely stands out among the many cars at the show this year. I must also add that Toyota couldn’t have picked a better name for it, as this is, by far, the most extreme Corolla I have ever seen. I don’t know how Toyota will one-up itself for next year’s show, but they better start working on it now because this Corolla will certainly become a piece of comparison for future concepts. Well done, Toyota, you have finally found a way to make me say “wow.”

  • Leave it
    • The two doors are way too small and look very awkward
    • Whats with the weird cutout in the decklid?
Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert -
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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Press Release

Globally, Toyota sells approximately 1.5 million Corollas a year, but the world has never seen anything like the one-of-a-kind XTREME Corolla unveiled during Toyota’s press conference this morning at the 2016 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show.

Toyota teamed up with Jeremy Lookofsky of Cartel Customs to create this Corolla like no other. The build pays tribute to the heritage of the iconic brand while taking aggressive design cues from the sport compact genre. This transformation is most evidenced by the conversion of the car from a 4-door sedan to a 2-door sports coupe. No stone was left unturned in the dynamic design of the XTREME Corolla. Even the interior has been retrofitted with a one-of-a-kind floating center console and an extensive JBL audio system.

2016 Toyota Corolla XTREME High Resolution Exterior
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“Especially since it is Corolla’s 50th anniversary, we wanted to really push the limits with this XTREME build, and this car certainly does that.” said Dawn Mercer, National Small Car Manager, Toyota Motor Sales.

The first Corolla went on sale in Japan in November 1966, and was brought to the U.S. in 1968. “Corolla continues to focus on providing quality and style in a sporty package,” Mercer added. “With the XTREME Corolla, we’ve built on those key values and taken sporty to an extraordinary new level to celebrate a five decade Corolla legacy.”

2016 Toyota Corolla XTREME High Resolution Exterior
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“The XTREME Corolla takes Corolla to a hot, unexpected place. People will be blown away by the custom conversions put into this build.” expressed Lookofsky.

The XTREME Corolla—along with representations of each of the 11 generations of Corolla, the Great American Race Corolla and numerous other Toyota specialty vehicles—will be found in the Toyota display booth (#24800) in Central Hall and on the Patio Annex of the Las Vegas Convention Center, November 1-4, 2016.

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