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