Toyota is in the process of developing the new-generation Corolla, codenamed E160, for sale in India and other markets around the world.
Known as the Corolla Altis in India and as the Corolla in markets like the US, the new car features aggressive styling and sporty detailing. Based on the Furia concept car showcased at the Detroit motor show in January, the new car has been specifically designed to appeal to a younger audience.
Some of the radical detailing from the Furia has been toned down, but a lot of the core design influences have been retained. The prominent shoulder line, the kink in the window line and heavily creased bumpers remain and this gives the new car a sharper look. Also carried over from the Furia is the very modern, tightly stretched skin of the car.
The carmaker's focus seems to have been on chiselling the previous car’s blunt looks, something we’ve already seen on cars like the new Camry. The rear in fact resembles that of the Camry, with sharp wraparound tail-lamps and a thick band of chrome running in between.
The front of the car is the most radical. Whereas the base of the bumper is similar to that of the current Corolla Altis sold in India, the grille and headlights are integrated into a single element. Similar to the Honda City in concept, the new Corolla’s headlights however have a kink at the bottom as well as a sharp vertical crease in the bumper. What remains to be seen is whether Toyota carries over the wheelbase of the Furia show car which, at 2700mm, is a full 100mm longer than the current car and, incidentally, identical to that of the Honda Civic.
The engines that power this new Corolla are expected to be similar to the ones that power the car currently on sale in India. Both the 1.8 petrol and the 1.4 diesel will be updated to improve performance and power delivery. The 1.8 petrol gets dual VVTi, as earlier, where both intake and exhaust valves are infinitely variable, helping the car deliver more power and performance. Both the engine and gearing are likely to be optimised to make the new Corolla more efficient and there will be a seven-step CVT-based automatic gearbox, similar to the one on the current car. The 1.4 diesel will carry on with the variable geometry turbo seen on the current Altis, and while power isn’t expected to cross 90bhp, Toyota is working hard to improve driveability.
Levels of efficiency however will be improved on both petrol and diesel with the addition of an all-new electric power steering system which typically improves efficiency by 3-5 percent; not a big saving if you think of it in terms of a tank of fuel, but a huge saving over the life of the car.
The interiors are all-new, though. Featuring an integrated centre console with a large touchscreen display, climate control and faux aluminium highlights, the new interior will deliver a more upmarket feel. Like the exteriors, the insides will be sporty as well. The new instrument panel gets a comprehensive trip computer nestled in between sporty ringed dials. While the version of the car expected in India is likely to have lighter beige interiors, Toyota may also provide the option of a sportier two-tone package.
You will have to wait a bit to get your hands on the stunning new Corolla – Toyota is expected to launch it in early 2014, with a further update to engines expected in late 2015.