Front end swaps, loud colours, retro style bodykits - the South Asian style of building basic cars like the Corolla takes a page out of classic Japanese tuning and applies the unique flavour of a bustling urban landscape to it. It’s not entirely about going fast, you have to look good while moving, too. That means lowering the car until it scrapes and is mostly difficult to drive. Bonkers, but cool.
The Toyota Corolla EE90, at one time the national car of Bangladesh, has been customised to the ends of the Earth by every Joshim out there in various ways. Some are riced to the point where it's difficult to tell what car it is underneath, let alone look long enough at it to find out. Some are done properly: sleeper looks with 4AGE power and overall ease of use, the Corolla name's trump card. Yet others take a page out of the South East Asian style of building front wheel drive Toyotas: loud, brash, and often slightly unrefined, to better show the car (and the owner's) roots.
Syed Abrar has gone through several phases with his Ee90 Corolla. First came the “lowered slightly, with loud exhaust” phase - everyone with a project car or the desire to start a project on a car has been through it, when you want to start work on the car but don't have the right direction fixed yet. Then, over the years, the Corolla slowly evolved, the parts list grew, and inspiration was found in places here and there.
At the height of his experimentation, Abrar decided to facelift his Corolla. Plastic surgery might not yield great results when done on 50 year old women who desire to be considered the Real-sest Housewife of New Jersey, but on cars, if done right and with the right vision, they can make you stand out more than your average wheel-swap. The headlights, complete with JDM style in-housed yellow fogs, grille and badge are lifted off the AE92 Levin coupe, and swapped in seamlessly onto the E90 front end. The bumper is from the AE90 Sprinter, and the whole front end comes together very nicely, giving the E90 a square cut, handsome face that is a far cry from what many would call the lumpy, awkward front end of the basic Corolla. Worked on and brought toegether by Syed Munir and the team at Bodyworks, the custom front lip, side skirt, widened rear arches and vented front fenders add up to make it seem more aggressive.
Ride and specs on next page