IT won’t arrive on Australian shores until 2020, but Toyota has today revealed a next-generation Corolla sedan that transforms the model’s style, driver engagement, comfort and refinement while bolstering its renowned value and reliability.
The sleek new four-door version of the world’s best-selling car has made its global debut at Auto Guangzhou in China more than a year ahead of its expected arrival in Australian showrooms.
The Corolla sedan will share many of the features and technology of the popular Corolla hatch launched in Australia during August, including an all-new 2.0-litre petrol engine that produces 21-per-cent more power than its predecessor yet delivers better fuel efficiency.
A highly rigid TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform improves torsional rigidity by 60 per cent, including increased use of ultra-high-strength steels and new structural adhesive technology for enhanced body rigidity and occupant safety.
The super-rigid structure is complemented by a lower centre of gravity, new multi-link rear suspension and totally revised front suspension to produce a sportier, more engaging drive.
New, more sophisticated and dynamic exterior styling has reduced overall height by 20mm, providing a confidence-inspiring stance that is more athletic, while maintaining ample interior space for occupants and their cargo.
Wider tracks combine with the unchanged 2700mm wheelbase to improve the Corolla sedan’s on-road stance and stability while the 35mm lower bonnet affords excellent forward visibility.
The new sedan matches its hatch sibling with an upscale interior that is both sporty and elegant, while delivering characteristic Corolla comfort and durability. Quality touches in the selection of materials and the precise layout of controls and gauges accentuate the premium look and feel.
A neat instrument panel lends an open, harmonious feeling thanks to its slimmer upper surface and character lines that interlock with the door trim.
The driver’s hip point has been lowered and moved rearward for improved comfort and control while helping to lower the vehicle’s centre of gravity and improve front-rear weight distribution.
These changes, along with the reconfigured lower belt-line, slimmer instrument panel, slimmer A-pillars and re-positioned side mirrors, contribute to greater visibility and an open, airy feeling.
The Corolla sedan’s 2.0-litre Dynamic Force in-line four-cylinder engine incorporates Toyota’s latest D-4S system with more efficient and complete combustion, lifting maximum power to 125kW and peak torque to approximately 200Nm.
The engine features high-pressure direct injection and low-pressure port fuel injection with VVT-iE intelligent variable valve-timing on the intake side and VVT-i on the exhaust. VVT-iE uses an electric motor instead of oil pressure to control the variable valve timing.
These technologies, together with a longer stroke, higher compression ratio and reduced internal friction, yield maximum thermal efficiency of 40 per cent – among the highest in the world for a passenger-car engine.
A new six-speed intelligent manual gearbox offers downshift rev-matching control for smooth gear changes. Buyers can also specify a new Dynamic-Shift CVT with 10 sequential shift steps and a sport mode. An innovative physical launch gear results in powerful yet smooth off-the-line acceleration.
The final part of the new Corolla package is a range of advanced safety technologies as standard, including the latest pre-collision system, active cruise control, lane trace assist, road-sign assist, automatic high beam, seven airbags and a reversing camera.