IT’S longer and wider than the current model, sits 25mm lower, has an all-new engine and can be had with a 10-speed ‘Dynamic-Shift’ CVT with sport mode – and a launch gear.
Is it the 2019 Whizbang GT?
No. We’re talking about the next Toyota Corolla.
The car, on sale locally in August, has smoother lines, a totally revised interior and sits on a rigid platform with an upgraded Mac strut front suspension and new multi-link set-up at the rear.
Toyota makes no mention of the power and torque of the new 2.0-litre engine but says it’s smaller and lighter than the current 103kW/173Nm 1.8-litre four.
However, it does claim ‘substantially increased power and fuel efficiency along with cleaner emissions,’ so it’s probably the 126kW/209Nm powerplant mentioned in some overseas reports.
And as for the launch feature of that CVT, well, it’s for efficiency, rather than traffic light grands prix.
Still, it’s quite an engineering feat, using a gear drive for initial acceleration before switching to the CVT’s belt drive.
Keen drivers might prefer the new six-speed ‘intelligent’ manual gearbox with its downshift rev-matching control.
Complementing the fresh body lines is what Toyota calls ‘an upscale interior with supportive new sport seats, a longer and wider centre console and quality touches including smaller gaps between buttons and switches.’
Front seat hip points are lower to provide a more natural body posture and positioning for the steering wheel, pedals, and gearshift.
Standard advanced safety technologies include a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, active cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beam, seven airbags and a reversing camera.
Buyers will also be able to choose the latest version of Toyota’s 1.8-litre hybrid powertrain.
All models feature an electronic parking brake and two front USB outlets while sound systems include optional JBL premium audio.
Grade-dependent features include single-zone manual air conditioning or dual-zone automatic climate control, paddle shifters and 4.2-inch or 7.0-inch multi-information displays, and wheel sizes that vary from 16 to 18 inches.
The car is new from front to rear, and right at the back the tailgate is now made of – wait for it – Toyota Super Olefin Polymer and Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene.
Wow. It aids fuel efficiency via its light weight, Toyota says.