Sound and Furia
Corolla takes a sportier direction . . . eventually
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.