January 12, 2021 By Francis Pallarco

Tuner: Race Bred

From the racetrack to the streets

Banking on the popularity of the Philippine Touring Car Championship (PTCC) Series during the late nineties, a different kind of Corolla was conceptualized. This was none other than the TOM’S Corolla Turbo that came out punching with 160 horsepower. What’s even great is that the whole car could be simply ordered through any Toyota dealership completely decked out. A TOM’S turbo kit added power while the multi-piece TOM’S body kit and TOM’S alloy wheels made sure it looked just as great.

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As the local PTCC series heated up the competition between the manufacturers, a pair of TOM’S Corolla Turbo driven by Jody Coseteng and Jomari Yllana was fielded. It was during his stint driving for Team TOM’S (’98-’01) that Jomari Ylllana the owner of our featured car acquired an affinity with the lightweight sedan. According to Jomari, it wasn’t until 2001 when he got the chance to acquire one of the racecars from Team TOM’S principal Jun Iche Isobe himself. “My idea then was to build a car that I could use everyday with an engine that’s built and tuned by the best Toyota tuner.” He’s referring to none other than Team TOM’S Tuner Toshiaki Takeda (Chief Engineer Toyota Team TOM’S PTCC ’98-’01) whom he regards highly as he adds, “I have never met an engine builder with so much technological knowhow and experience.”

Under the hood is a 1.6-liter, inline 4-cylinder engine, but this one has been built and tuned by noted tuner Toshiaki Takeda. Using internal pieces from HKS, TOM’S and so on, highly differentiates it with similar 4AFE turbocharged engines used on the TOM’S Turbo Corolla sold by the dealers. Other obvious differences include a custom stainless-steel short runner exhaust manifold with a Toyota CT26 turbine. Other noteworthy mods include a front mount intercooler; custom piping, HKS air cleaner and Greddy blow off valve. The engine is then mated to a 6-speed tranny fortified with a TRD metal clutch and pressure plate. Using a TOM’S Engine Control System (TECS) and tuned by Mr. Takeda himself, Jomari claims the engine to put out around 250 horses. Handling-wise, a TRD Sports suspension kit enables the lightweight sedan to tackle the corners effectively. Fully aware of the importance of handling, Jomari comments on the overall balance of the car, “The power to weight ratio is very good, but develops a lot of wheel spin during full boost.” and adds, “This car is capable of 280kph which is not bad, considering it only has a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine.”

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For the exterior, Jojo Howard of J. Howard Technologies is responsible for the Corolla’s flawless body and paint. They removed the TOM’S body kit that came with the car and upgraded the look by with a 2000-spec, European front clip which they ordered from Europe. On the inside, J. Howard Technologies also fitted a moonroof and reupholstered the Recaro seats with Italian leather while the dashboard panels were custom made from carbon fiber. A Greddy boost gauge and a trio of Defi gauges on the center console allows Jomari to keep tabs on the engine’s vitals. Other requisite interior touches include a TRD steering wheel and shift knob. Next to the Euro front end, the other nice detail that attracts attention are the 17-inch, Cromodora wheels that lends itself nicely to the overall look of the car. Despite having been entered and already won various car shows, the car never fails to attract a crowd wherever it parks. As a parting shot, I ask Jomari what are his thoughts when it comes to car modification and customization, he answers, “You can never go wrong with a good mechanic, a good paint shop and interior specialist. I feel that if you’re going to do it, it has to be done right.” I fully agree as that seems to be the only way to do something.

Tuner Mods

Toyota TOM’S Corolla Turbo

Jomari Yllana

Engine: 4AFE, Turbocharged and Intercooled

Engine Type: 1.6-liter, Inline-4, DOHC, 16v,

Engine Mods: Internal engine parts by HKS, Greddy, TOM’S and TRD Toyota CT26 turbine, HKS muffler Custom exhaust manifold and piping by Toshiaki Takeda

Engine management: TOM’S Engine Control System (TECS) tuned by Toshiaki Takeda

Horsepower: 250-300 WHP (est.)

Transmission: 6-Speed manual with TRD metal clutch and TRD pressure plate

Suspension Mods: TRD (AE111) Sport Suspension Kit

Brake Mods: 4-wheel discs modified by Toshiaki Takeda

Rollers: Cromodora Star Wheels (17×7.5) Achilles 123S Tires (205/40/17)

Interior Mods: Leather interior and carbon fiber panels by John Howard of Leather Plus, Recaro Millenium bucket seats, TRD steering wheel & shift knob, Greddy boost gauge, Defi oil press, oil temp, water temp gauges,

Exterior Mods: 2000-spec Euro front cut, chin spoiler, Moonroof,

Body & Paint: Jojo Howard of J. Howard Technologies

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