Sound and Fu­ria

Corolla takes a sportier di­rec­tion . . . even­tu­ally

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

A FUNKIER four-door Corolla will be un­veiled next week as Toy­ota picks up the pace on its two-car com­pact at­tack.

The new­comer picks up from the Fu­ria con­cept car and prom­ises to fi­nally bury the dowdy ap­proach to boxy lit­tle Corol­las.

But— and it’s a big one— the new Corolla won’t be here un­til 2014. That means nearly a two-year de­lay be­tween the ar­rival of the lat­est Corolla hatch and the sedan that was in­tended to sit along­side it.

Toy­ota is plan­ning an­other two-pronged ef­fort on the Corolla front with its sedan, which will be un­veiled si­mul­ta­ne­ously in Europe and the US. And there are likely to be sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences be­tween the cars. ‘‘ The Fu­ria is close to how the car will look. There are def­i­nitely clues in the con­cept,’’ Toy­ota spokesman Mike Breen says.

‘‘ Yes, there are two ver­sions of the car. Be­cause they are slightly dif­fer­ent, Toy­ota has de­cided there will be Euro­pean and Amer­i­can launches at the same time.’’

But, in an­other twist to the story, there is no con­fir­ma­tion yet on the car for Aus­tralia.

‘‘ We don’t know yet which one we will get. It’s still be­ing de­cided,’’ Breen says.

There is also un­cer­tainty on ev­ery­thing from prices to en­gines and even the fac­tory where the car will be built.

The Corolla hatch is cur­rently shipped from Ja­pan to Aus­tralia but the sedan could come from Thai­land, Europe or even Amer­ica.

‘‘ It could come from a num­ber of places. It will ul­ti­mately de­pend on the sup­ply chain and where it is best to source the car,’’ Breen says.

The one def­i­nite is that the car will have a much edgier de­sign than the cur­rent Corolla sedan, with a wedge shape and more per­son­al­ity in the nose and in the cabin.

The cur­rent Corolla four­door is about five years old and will be pos­i­tively an­cient when the new­comer ar­rives, al­though Toy­ota is do­ing its best to keep peo­ple in­ter­ested and cur­rently sells it for $21,490 drive-away in the lead-up to the end of the fi­nan­cial year.

‘‘ They have al­ready moved the hatch to a more sporty flavour. The sedan is go­ing the same way,’’ Breen says.

Toy­ota has only given one hint on the new car’s de­sign, with a back-end shot on the com­pany’s Face­book page high­light­ing a gi­ant S badge on the back end. But the Fu­ria that was dis­played at the Detroit mo­tor show ear­lier this year points to a sedan that’s far more like a hatch­back in its lay­out, as well as pro­vid­ing the pack­ag­ing for the hy­brid model that will be sold in Europe.

Paul Gover

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