Toy­ota gen­er­ates changes

The new Corolla will look sharper . . . and it might even drive that way too

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

EUROPE is put­ting the power into the new Corolla as the world’s favourite car heads for a to­tal re­newal later this year.

The 10th-gen­er­a­tion Corolla is styled in Europe and in addition gets a con­stantly vari­able trans­mis­sion to meet tight­en­ing Eu­ro­pean emis­sions re­quire­ments.

It will be ready for the road by Oc­to­ber de­spite the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis, which took the edge off de­vel­op­ment work at some of Toy­ota’s ri­vals, in­clud­ing Suzuki and Honda.

It’s im­pos­si­ble to un­der­es­ti­mate the im­por­tance of the new Corolla, which must hold the $20,000 price line in Aus­tralia. It also has to take the fight back to the Mazda3, which has out­sold the Toy­ota champ in the past 18 months, be­com­ing Aus­tralia’s favourite.

Toy­ota Aus­tralia prod­uct plan­ning chief Greg Gard­ner uses the words ‘‘ cru­cial’’ and ‘‘ crit­i­cal’’ when talk­ing up the lat­est of­fer­ing.

‘‘ It will al­low us to re­sume ef­forts in the small car class with an all-new con­tender,’’ Gard­ner says.

‘‘ The Corolla will be pre­viewed at the Syd­ney Mo­tor Show. The plan is it will be in show­rooms soon af­ter.’’

He hints that buy­ers can ex­pect a Corolla with edgier styling, dy­nam­ics built around the CVT gear­box and a lower cen­tre of grav­ity sim­i­lar to the im­pres­sive new 86 sports car.

‘‘ It will be fun to drive. The new styling is the big thing, so there is a Eu­ro­pean in­flu­ence there,’’ Gard­ner says. ‘‘ You’re start­ing to see the Toy­ota fam­ily re­sem­blance come through the range, and it will be ob­vi­ous in the Corolla and then the RAV4 af­ter­wards.’’

The RAV4 is ex­pected to pre­view at the Los An­ge­les Mo­tor Show in Novem­ber and to go on sale in Aus­tralia in the first quar­ter of 2013.

Gard­ner ad­mits Toy­ota was hit hard by nat­u­ral dis­as­ters in Ja­pan and Thai­land, but says de­vel­op­ment of new mod­els is on track.

‘‘ It’s busi­ness as usual,’’ Gard­ner says. ‘‘ There will be a bit of a tweak to the HiLux at the end of next year.

‘‘ At that time we’ll have the nec­es­sary changes to get five-star ANCAP on the 4x4 model.’’

Com­ing soon: Thenew Corolla will be ready for the road by Oc­to­ber

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