Guangzhou, China -
TOYOTA HAS lifted the lid on its new Corolla sedan range at China's Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition. The new sedan model will be sold in more than 150 countries from 2019, however South Africa will receive it in 2020. (No confirmation yet on whether Corolla will be imported or built in KZN, or whether the models in these pictures will differ from the cars destined for SA).
Offering a lower centre of gravity, sportier exterior, and sleek interior design, the new Corolla sedan is said to bring enhanced driving and performance improvements to the nameplate.
HIGH-TECH HYBRID FAMILY SEDAN
A Hybrid version of the Corolla sedan will be introduced in more than 90 countries and regions. In Japan, new sedan and wagon models, based on the Sporty (orange car in the pictures) model, will be optimised for Japanese customers and roads, with sales launch slated for within 2019, but again there's no word on whether we'll get the hybrid (or wagon for that matter).
"We have tried to design new models that are eye-catching, and fun to both ride in and drive. By enhancing not just the fun factors that are unique to cars, but adding connectivity functions to create new value, we wanted to make this new model a car that enriches mobility for customers around the world," says Yoshiki Konishi, chief engineer of the new Corolla models.
PROVENANCE OF A BEST-SELLER
The Corolla is Toyota's all-time best-selling car nameplate, with more than 46 million vehicles sold worldwide (including derivative models) since the first generation was released in Japan in 1966. With each new generation, Corolla has evolved. New advanced features and functions have been introduced to suit the needs of the time, all the while inheriting its core DNA of reliability and usability from the very first generation, the brand claims.
ONE PLATFORM, MANY MODELS
Based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) initiative to structurally transform vehicle development (to contain cost), the new Corolla platform has been unified globally within the present 12th generation model.
"The new platform offers improved performance characterised by smooth driving, ride comfort, quietness, and safety, Konishi adds. "The Corolla delivers a joyful driving experience to customers in a wide range of countries and regions, backed by a total of one million kilometres of test driving across five continents."
The new Corolla's interior design is based on a 'Sensuous Minimalism' concept (a design that is simple yet sensuously appealing, according to Toyota), aptly incorporating a sleek new digital instrument panel in the hybrid.
In certain markets, the new Corolla sedan models will offer optimal connected functions and services to deliver safety and security as well as comfort and convenience, by connecting people and cars, and cars and society.
In China, the new models come standard with an onboard Data Communication Module (DCM), an integral component of Toyota Connected. Connected services will be introduced across all grades, providing 'just-in-time' services and offering security and peace of mind to customers 24/7, the automotive firm says.
Other examples of connectivity potential in the new Corolla include Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility in the United States, and services in Europe that allow the car to be connected to an operator in emergency situations and the dispatch of rescue vehicles based on the car's location. (No word on whether we'll get these functions in SA from Toyota SA).
As mentioned earlier, the new Corolla will be coming to South Africa during some time in 2020. The local-line-up and pricing is yet to be confirmed, however we'd love to see the wagon roll into SA too.