Earlier in 2013 when Toyota showcased the Furia Corolla concept, we were completely awestruck with the car's sharp and aggressive lines, bold silhouette and aggressive front facia. It left us waiting in anticipation to know if the production-version next-gen Corolla would indeed turn out as appealing.
Toyota has finally revealed the production version of the new Corolla and we are pleased to report that most of those contemporary design cues have been retained and the next generation car is indeed a looker!
The bold air intake in the front bumper, sleek trapezoidal grill, and angular headlamps give the front end of the new Corolla a rather handsome stance. When viewed from the side, it can be noticed that the wheels are pushed out towards the corners to help emphasise the wheel arches. The window line too looks appealing and the kink in the rear window is retained from the concept, while the design line running from the boot lid to the C-Pillar lends a sporty tone to the rear section of the car. At the back, the rear bumper has a somewhat plain design with a black air diffuser at the bottom. The tail lights are angular and neatly integrate into the design feature of the boot below the sleek rear spoiler.
On the inside, the 2014 Toyota Corolla gets dual tone colour combination along with piano-black gloss trim and metallic ornamentation trim that lend plenty of visual breaks from one surface to the other. The centre console has been laid out in a very functional manner while enhancing the spaciousness of the cabin. Toyota also states that depending on interior colour theme, blue, black or amber pinstriped accents are used in conjunction with the dash and door panels to enhance the premium appeal of the interior.
The new Toyota Corolla has also been made larger from all dimensions in terms of length, width and wheelbase while the height of the car has been reduced. This means that there is now more cabin space inside the 2014 Corolla that has been used to create more rear legroom while the rear seat hip point has been moved back too and the floor has been made flatter (by re-routing exhaust pipes) to make the middle passenger more comfortable. It has to be said that these changes will be more than welcome in India. Meanwhile, the front seats include a longer, more supportive lower cushion and an improved bolster design and increase in seat adjustment to help accommodate a wider range of physiques. Top models will get heated seats too.
Cabin comfort has also been furthered with the use of more NVH lowering measures such as an acoustic glass windscreen, improved floor carpet insulation, an instrument panel seal between the cowl and the windshield, a fender sound insulator and an inner dash silencer pad to provide a quieter ride.
Over its 11 generations, Toyota has sold nearly 40 million units of the Corolla worldwide. The credit for its astounding success go to Toyota’s bullet proof reliability leading to affordable maintenance costs and the easy to drive factor of the car.
With the new model, Toyota has diversified the Corolla formula by introducing an attitude of sportyness to certain new variants while maintaining the core values of reliability and real world usability across the model range.
To begin with, Toyota will be introducing the 2014 Corolla in four variants, namely, L, LE, S, and the new LE Eco. All models will feature the company’s 1.8 litre petrol engine. The engine will be available in two avatars, the base 1.8 VVT-i developing 133PS of power will be available on the L, LE, and S variants while the 1.8-litre engine developing 141PS of power with ‘Valvematic’ offering a broader range of continuously variable valve timing (for better efficiency) will be available on the LE Eco variant.
The L will be the entry level variant that will be available with the option of a four-speed automatic gearbox or a six-speed manual gearbox. All other variants will be available with a CVT automatic gearbox which Toyota has termed as CVTi-S as it offers a sport mode with stepped shifts through 7-speeds to deliver sporty gear changes via paddle shifters. The S variant can be specced with either the six-speed manual gearbox or the CVTi-S gearbox.
All Corolla models equipped with CVTi-S offer a choice between an ECO or SPORT driving mode. ‘ECO mode’ driving on the Corolla LE Eco delivers linear acceleration under 50 per cent throttle and moderates air conditioning operation in the interest of fuel efficiency. The LE Eco variant also gets aerodynamic under body covers and a choice of 15-inch wheels with low rolling resistance tyres or 16-inch aerodynamic alloy wheels.
The structure of the 2014 Toyota Corolla has been made lighter and stronger with the use of high tensile-strength steel and unibody bracing (tunnel brace and rear floor brace) to help increase platform rigidity over the current model. The front McPherson strut suspension has been stiffened with a more rigid control-arm design. At the back, a torsion beam suspension setup is being used with diagonal attach points for improved handling, grip, and stability.
Safety features aboard the new Toyota Corolla include crumple zones, airbags, three point seat belts and a host of brake assistance features such as Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control System (TCS), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA).
All in all, the new 11th generation Toyota Corolla is a well-rounded product that will suit a wider variety of customers with its modern styling, sporty or economical nature (depending on variant) and the vehicle’s new found contemporary appeal will indeed make it a more popular car worldwide.
More details about the car will be announced by Toyota at the time of the launch of the car. Stay tuned to ZigWheels for updates!
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